Iraq: Police pursue escaped Iranian detainees

Two dozen Iranians jailed in a southern Iraqi police station for illegally entering the country escaped over the weekend, but most have since been recaptured, the top provincial police commander said Monday. The Iranians, believed to be pilgrims, broke out of jail on Saturday in the village of Badra, near the Iranian border about 80 kilometers east of the southern city of Kut, Brig. Hussein Abdul Hadi Mahbub said. Mahbub blamed "negligence by the guards" for the escape. After the escape, police imposed a curfew in Badra, a desert village about 20 kilometers from the Iranian border. Twenty of the escapees have been recaptured, and police are hunting for the remaining four, said Mahbub, police commander for the southern city of Wasit.