Twenty-eight Iraqis held by Iraqi authorities for common crimes escaped as they were being transported by bus from the Abu Ghraib (search) prison to another facility, a U.S. official said Friday.

Lt. Col. Barry Johnson said 38 prisoners initially got away Thursday evening but 10 were quickly recaptured. He gave no further details but said none of the prisoners were believed to be insurgents and no U.S. forces were guarding them during the transfer.

Efforts to contact Iraqi officials were unsuccessful because government offices are closed on Fridays.