MARCH 23 2012 20:29h
17 escape from jail in Iraq
The men used a rope made of blankets and lowered themselves out of a small window by removing a ventilation grill in a bathroom at the jail in Kirkuk, the BBC reported.
A local politician said there had been "very clear negligence" by the prison guards.
A provincial councilor said guards had assisted with the escape, the BBC said.
At least one suspect was held and Iraqi security forces were searching for the others.
Additional patrols have been deployed in and around Kirkuk, the BBC said.
The Salafists have been blamed for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi troops.
Two of the fugitives had been convicted of murder.
Bombers targeted Kirkuk this week.
KIRKUK, Iraq, March 23 (UPI) -- Al-Qaida members and members of a group of Salafist fighters were among at least 17 prisoners who escaped from an Iraqi jail early Friday, officials said.