Islamic State militants blew up the Badush prison, 25 kilometres of Mosul, yesterday after transferring all the prisoners, a police officer in the Nineveh province said earlier.
In a statement to the Anadolu Agency, Lieutenant Colonel Ali Mohammed explained that Badush prison, which was under his guardianship before ISIS took control of it in June, was completely destroyed this morning after the group bombed the surveillance bridges and guard towers yesterday evening.
He added that ISIS held members of the Iraqi army and police as prisoners of war in the prison, as well as civilians, but the inmates were moved before the prison was blown up. Mohammed said the prisoners had been moved to a prison in Mosul while other reports said ISIS had transferred them to Syria.
He said ISIS had destroyed the prison after the advance of Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the west of the province, adding that ISIS did not want to lost control of the jail fearing it would be used as a centre to strike the group and try to free Mosul.
Prioir to ISIS gaining control of large areas of the north, east and west of Iraq, Badush prison was administered by the Iraqi Ministry of Justice and is the third largest jail in the country. Some 3,000 prisoners fled from it after it was swized from the government's control on June 10.
Iraqi authorities accuse ISIS of killing hundreds of Shia prisoners who were in jail, in addition to other inmates and the former prison guards.