500 Al-Qaeda inmates flee from Abu Garaib Jail



Hundreds of prisoners including senior al Qaeda terrorists have broken out of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib jail after a military-style raid to free them.

Suicide bombers drove cars packed with explosives to the gates of the prison on the outskirts of Baghdad while gunmen pounded guards with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

Militants wearing suicide vests stormed into the prison to release some 500 inmates, most of whom were said to be al Qaeda members facing the death sentence.

Other militants took up positions near the main road, fighting off security reinforcements sent from Baghdad.

Ten policemen were killed trying to hold off the attackers on Sunday night until military helicopters arrived to help them regain control.

Hakim al Zamili, a senior member of the security and defence committee, told Reuters: “The number of escaped inmates has reached 500, most of them were convicted senior members of al Qaeda and had received death sentences.

“The security forces arrested some of them, but the rest are still free.”

One security official told Reuters on condition of anonymity: “It’s obviously a terrorist attack carried out by al Qaeda to free convicted terrorists with al Qaeda.”

Abu Ghraib was made notorious a decade ago when photographs emerged showing abuse of prisoners by US soldiers.

Eleven military personnel were convicted in 2005 of torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners, including reservist Private Lynndie England.

A simultaneous attack on another prison, in Taji, around 12 miles north of Baghdad, followed a similar pattern, but guards managed to prevent any inmates escaping. Sixteen soldiers and six militants were killed.

It comes as Sunni insurgents, including the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq, have been regaining strength in recent months and carrying out strikes against Shi’ite Muslims on a daily basis.

The violence has raised fears of a return to full-blown conflict in a country where Kurds, Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims have yet to find a stable way of sharing power.

Nearly 600 people have been killed in militant attacks across Iraq so far this month, according to violence monitoring group Iraq Body Count.


Discussion1 Comment

  1. Lookout Pakistan…all these terrorist will be looking for a safe place to hide…has anyone seen their leader al zuwari lately?…where do you think he will be found?

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