Iraqi minister says 4 al-Qaida inmates escape jail

Four al-Qaida-linked detainees have escaped from a Baghdad area prison that was handed over by the U.S. to Iraqi authorities a week ago, Iraq's justice minister said Thursday - a daring escape that embarrasses a government struggling to prove it is capable of operating without U.S. oversight.

Dara Noureddin said the four, awaiting trial on terrorism charges, escaped from the high security prison formerly known as Camp Cropper.

The escape is the second to come to light in Iraq in about a week, and spotlights concerns about how prepared are
Iraqi authorities to take full control of the country as U.S. combat forces are to be sharply scaled back by next month.