Monday, July 16, 2007

24 Iranians escape from Iraqi prison

Above: A fortress in Badra near Iraq's border with Iran.

The Iraqi police acknowledged Sunday that 24 Iranians who had been detained for entering the country illegally and using fake passports had escaped from a prison on the Iraqi side of the porous border.

When the police realized there had been a prison break, they imposed a curfew on Badra, the town where the prison is located, and caught four of the escapees. But the others remained free, said a police official in Badra.

Iraq’s long border with Iran is exceedingly difficult to police. American troops have been working to intercept the flow of weapons and weapons parts that appear to be coming from Iran. Some of the Iranians who cross the border illegally are pilgrims who have not obtained legal travel documents for trips to worship in the Shiite pilgrimage cities of Najaf and Karbala, but Iraqi and American security officials contend that some Iranians also cross the border to aid insurgents.

Read the rest at the NY Times