An estimated 95 prisoners, including 30 Kurdish fighters, managed to escape from a prison in Syria run by the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), revealed a monitoring group.
However, many of them have been recaptured.
According to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the prison break occurred in the Syrian town of al-Bab located 20 miles south of Turkey.
About two-thirds of the escapees have already been caught, reveals Reuters.
“They have set up new checkpoints and have been searching houses,” said Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Observatory.
Although ISIS still controls the Syrian town, “it shows some weakness when a big number of prisoners escapes,” he added.
“The escapees included Syrian civilians, about 30 Kurdish fighters, and members of Islamic battalions opposed to the more hardline Islamic State,” said the Observatory, according to Reuters.
Assisted by U.S.-led airstrikes, Kurdish fighters have been battling ISIS across northern Syria.
ISIS controls swaths of Syria and Iraq. The jihadist group runs its own prisons, courts, and other facilities inside the territory it controls, which it describes as an Islamic caliphate.
Anonymous sources on the ground told the monitor group that ISIS used loudspeakers to put the town on high alert, announcing that a group of “apostates” had escaped.
ISIS urged the citizens of al-Bab to arrest the escapees. The terrorist group has been suffering from infighting between rival factions.
“Islamic State combatants fought each other over the weekend in al-Bab when several of its members broke out of another jail in the town and tried to head for the Turkish border,” reports Reuters. “Since that breakout, Islamic State had moved people to the new, smaller prison which was the site of the latest escape.”
At least nine ISIS members were killed during the jailbreak that occurred over the weekend, said the Observatory. The escapees, primarily European fighters, clashed with fellow members of ISIS.