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Iraqi religious official dies of heart attack following escape from prison

Saad Kumbesh, the former head of Iraq's Sunni waqf, died after he was caught by police. He was serving time for corruption before his escape.
HUSSEIN FALEH/AFP via Getty Images

The former head of a Sunni Muslim organization in Iraq who had escaped from prison died of a heart on Thursday after police re-arrested him, according to multiple Iraqi media reports. 

What happened: Saad Kumbesh is the former president of the Sunni Endowment Office in Iraq. He was arrested on March 21. On April 11, Kumbesh was sentenced to four years in prison for corruption. Kumbesh was serving his sentence at the Karrada Maryam police station in Baghdad, said Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul, according to the official Iraqi News Agency.

On Tuesday evening, Kumbesh received a visitor for iftar, the meal in which Muslims break their daily fast for Ramadan. At 10:30 p.m. local time, he escaped with the help of three individuals from within the prison to two vehicles that were waiting for him. The search for him is ongoing.

Iraq’s Interior Minister Abdul Amir Al-Shammari said that an officer at Baghdad’s Salhiya police station, another from the Karrada Maryam station and one from an unspecified detention center have been detained in relation to the incident. Shammari said he formed a committee to find Kumbesh, according to the Iraqi News Agency.

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