Cairo, Feb 10 (IANS/AKI) Egypt’s Vice President Omar Suleiman has said that Al Qaeda militants and operatives from other armed organisations were among the prisoners that managed to escape from the country’s prisons last month amid the confusion caused by protests calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
Suleiman said the fugitives included members of “jihadist organisations” who had not renounced their ideology or agreed to halt violence, the state news agency reported.
“This is a serious matter,” he said told reporters. “We must use every bit of strength to bring them back to prison.”
Police largely disappeared from many of Egypt’s prisons as hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the country’s streets. The security vacuum allowed thousands of detainees to walk away from prisons.
Members of a cell from armed militant group Hezbollah were among the prisoners who fled their cells to freedom. They reportedly found their way to the Gaza Strip or Lebanon.
Al Qaeda’s Iraq-based arm has called on Muslims to free all prisoners from their Egypt’s prisons, calling for holy war.