A member of al-Qaeda in Iraq who broke out of jail has been killed in a firefight, while two other prisoners on the run have been surrounded by police, a police officer said yesterday.
“We killed ‘Imad the Killer’ and he is lying on the street in front of me. We are exchanging gunfire with the other two who are hiding in a house in street number 20 in the center of the city,” the officer said.
The man killed by Iraqi forces, Imad Ahmed Farhan, was nicknamed “Imad the Killer” because police say he had admitted to murdering at least 100 people.
The men escaped from Forsan police station in Ramadi, capital of Anbar Province, on Friday in a brazen breakout that sparked a gunbattle that killed 13 militants and policemen.
The incident began at about 2am on 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, inmates 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.
Eleven prisoners then dashed into the courtyard where they shot a lieutenant and made it to the armory before the deadly gun battle erupted.
Three surviving prisoners managed to flee but one was recaptured, provincial police chief Tareq al-Dulaimi said.
Ramadi police imposed a curfew in the city following the incident, an interior ministry source said, adding that the breakout appeared to be a well-planned operation.
The predominantly Sunni Arab city, which is the capital of Anbar province, was a key al-Qaeda stronghold in the aftermath of the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime by US-led forces in 2003.