Iraqi officials today denied reports that security forces freed prisoners from an Islamic State group jail in the country’s west, but some said civilians had been evacuated from the area.
Officials from Iraq’s Anbar province said the previous day that security forces discovered a large underground IS prison in the town of Heet, which they are battling to retake from the jihadists, and freed people held inside.
Major General Ali Ibrahim Daboun, the army commander responsible for the area, said that no prison was found, but that civilians had been “evacuated” from Heet.
Raja Barakat, a member of the Anbar province security committee, gave a similar account.
And Malallah al-Obeidi, a local Anbar official, said that while initial information indicated that security forces freed prisoners, they turned out to be families who were evacuated.
IS seized large parts of Iraq in 2014, but security forces have since regained significant ground from the jihadists.