Hundreds escape in deadly raids on two Iraqi prisons
Militants armed with mortars and machine guns targeted the prisons in Taji and Abu Ghraib on late Sunday, sparking gun battles that left dozens of people dead, officials said on Monday.
Two Iraqi lawmakers, Hakim al-Zamili and Shawan Mohammed Taha, said about 500 prisoners managed to escape during the attack and a manhunt is under way.
According to the Justice Ministry spokesman, Wissam al-Firaiji, a total of 21 prisoners were killed and another 25 wounded during the fighting at both facilities, which are homes to thousands of prisoners including convicted al-Qaeda militants
Fifteen soldiers were killed and 13 others were wounded in the Taji attack, while in the Abu Ghraib attack 10 policemen were killed and 19 others were wounded. Ten militants were reported killed in both attacks.
The US military previously operated the prisons in Taji and Abu Ghraib, where abuse of prisoners at the hands of American guards sparked outrage around the world and helped fuel anti-American sentiment in Iraq.
The US handed control of both facilities back to Iraqi authorities before the last American troops departed in December 2011.
The incidents are the latest in a string of attacks across Iraq that have left more than 2,800 people dead since the beginning of April.
In the first 12 days of Ramadan, about 340 people have lost their lives in violence across Iraq.
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