Iraqi prison break drama endsOn 06/30/2019 by admin
Two Al-Qaeda prisoners who broke out of a police jail in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi were arrested hours after their accomplice was killed by Iraqi police snipers, police said.
The arrest of the two men brought to an end a dramatic series of events that began early on Friday when the three local Al-Qaeda leaders escaped from cells in Forsan police station triggering a deadly firefight that killed 13 militants and policemen.
The man shot dead on Saturday by Iraqi forces was Imad Ahmed Farhan, nicknamed “Imad the Killer” because police say the Qaeda operative had confessed to murdering at least 100 people and setting over 100 roadside bombs.
Extensive manhunt ends in arrests
Farhan\’s accomplices, Abdel Aleem and Lazeem, were arrested in the central Ramadi district of Andaluz early on Sunday following a desperate manhunt that lasted nearly two days, Ramadi police major Alaa al-Jassam, told AFP.
“They are now being held in a police station in Ramadi,” said Jassam.
Farhan\’s two accomplices were found hiding in water tanks in a private home, Udai Mohammed Daud, an intelligence police captain, told AFP.
“They were arrested on the second floor of a home, hiding in water tanks,” said Daud, adding they had taken the suspects without firing a shot after receiving a tip.
‘Imad the Killer’ repeatedly shot by snipers
Farhan, 32, was killed by sniper fire around midday Saturday after a fierce gun battle in which he had taken a family hostage in a home on Street 20 in the centre of Ramadi, capital of Anbar province in western Iraq, police said.
Police had been carrying out a massive manhunt since Friday and found Farhan holed up in a home in central Ramadi. They were alerted to his whereabouts when one of the hostages was able to get word to a neighbour.
“The female hostage got to the back of the house and was able to tell her neighbour that they were hostages and that a terrorist was there,” Colonel Salah Arar, commander of the southern sector of Ramadi police, told AFP.
“We took a police unit and a sniper squad with us and we identified the room in the house where he was,” Arar said.
“One of our snipers shot him but only wounded him. Then as he tried to move across the roof from one house to another, one of our snipers shot him five or six times.”
Pictures of a man alleged to be Farhan showed a body riddled with bullet holes.
Police raided the home of Farhan\’s sister on Friday and confiscated his passport and his national identity document in case he tried to flee abroad, Ramadi police captain Mohammed Daud said.
Dramatic prison break
The daring and apparently well-planned breakout from the station began at around 2 am Friday when a prisoner called out that he was sick and a policeman went to a communal cell to check.
When the officer entered the cell holding 40 men, 13 of them Al-Qaeda members, they grabbed him and cut his throat with a makeshift knife. They then seized his gun and went to the police chief\’s office and slit his throat.
The Al-Qaeda prisoners then dashed into the courtyard where they shot a lieutenant and made it to the armoury before the gun battle erupted.
The prisoners and police battled for two hours before the officers managed to regain control of the complex. One prisoner was recaptured after suffering gunshot wounds.
The predominantly Sunni Arab city of 540,000 was a key Al-Qaeda stronghold in the aftermath of the toppling of Saddam Hussein\’s regime by US-led forces in 2003.
Iraq\’s biggest province became the theatre of a brutal war focused on the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, while a string of towns along the Euphrates valley became insurgent strongholds and later safe havens for Al-Qaeda.
Farhan himself has been captured twice by US forces and following his release he took charge of Al-Qaeda financing in Ramadi. He later fled to Syria.
When he returned in 2007, he was arrested by Iraqi police but US forces demanded his transfer to Camp Bucca because of his criminal record.
He was then handed to Iraqi police four months ago and was set to go on trial.
“I interrogated him personally, and he admitted to me that he had killed more than 60 brothers of the south (Shiite) on the road between Ramadi and the Jordan border and had planted more than 100 roadside bombs that killed dozens,” Arar said.