At least 20 suspected Islamic State members are believed to have escaped a Syrian military prison after a catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook the region.
About 2,000 inmates, including 1,300 suspected ISIS fighters, are held in the prison in the town of Rajo near the Turkish border, a source at the facility told the Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.
“After the earthquake struck, Rajo was affected and inmates started to mutiny and took control of parts of the prison,” the jail official said. “About 20 prisoners fled… who are believed to be [ISIS] militants.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, confirmed there was mutiny at the prison but could not verify whether inmates had escaped.
More than 7,200 deaths have been confirmed after the earthquake Monday in southern Turkey and northern Syria, and the death toll is expected to rise, according to The Associated Press.
Over 800 deaths have been confirmed in government-held areas of Syria and at least 1,000 people died in rebel-held areas of the country, according to officials.
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