Syria: Suspected IS fighters escape from prison after earthquake

About 20 suspected fighters from the Islamic State (IS) group escaped from a Syrian prison during a mutiny in the wake of the earthquake (illustration image).

© Delil Souleiman/AFP

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Twenty suspected Islamic State (IS) fighters escaped from a Syrian prison during a mutiny following the earthquake that shook the region on Monday February 6, according to a source within the establishment. .


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Rajo military prison, located near the Turkish border in northwest Syria, has some 2,000 detainees, including about 1,300 suspected of having fought for IS, the source said.

It also hosts Kurdish fighters.

"Following the earthquake, which affected Rajo, the inmates launched a mutiny and took control of parts of the prison," the source told AFP.

“About twenty prisoners escaped (…) They are believed to be members of IS,” added this source, who did not wish to be identified.

Located in a rebel zone, Rajo prison is controlled by pro-Turkish forces.

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The doors and walls of the prison weakened by the earthquake

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), a London-based NGO with an extensive network of sources in the war-torn country, confirmed the occurrence of a mutiny but said it was unable to say if any prisoners had escaped.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake, whose epicenter was less than 100 km from Rajo, near Gaziantep in Turkey, notably weakened the doors and walls of the prison, the source said.

In total, the earthquake and its aftershocks killed more than 3,800 people, including more than 1,440 in Syria, according to a toll that is still likely to increase.

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Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: the international community is mobilizing





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  • Syria

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  • Turkey

  • IS