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Riot leads to prisoners’ escape

Agence France-Presse

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Disinfection units at work in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli in Syria’s Hasakah province. Many inmates at the Ghourian prison are foreign nationals. Photograph: Delil Souleiman/AFP

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AFP) — Prisoners at a Syrian jail run by Kurdish forces holding suspected Islamic State (IS) members rioted and some escaped Sunday, said Kurdish sources and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A senior member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) running Ghouiran prison in the northeast Syria city of Hassakeh acknowledged that an uprising had taken place.
The official, who asked to remain anonymous, told AFP that IS members in the prison had revolted.

“Some of them managed to get out into the prison courtyard,” the source added.

“Security forces are on high alert. International coalition planes are flying over the prison and the region.”

Coalition military spokesman Colonel Myles Caggins III said: “The Coalition is assisting our Syrian Democratic Forces partners with aerial surveillance as they quell an insurrection” at the prison.

But only low-level prisoners were kept at the jail, he added.

The London-based Observatory, which has an extensive network of contacts inside Syria, said at least four people had escaped from the prison.

Members of the IS had led the uprising and a search has started for those who had escaped, it added.

SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali, posting on Twitter, said prisoners had broken walls and torn off internal doors.

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