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16 Killed in Iraq Prison Revolt

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Posted on May 8, 2011
Flickr / chrisdebruyn Some rights reserved

Bars and razor wire are silhouetted against a prison wall in Sulaimani, Iraq.

A rebellion that caused the deaths of six guards and 10 inmates at a prison in Baghdad was sparked when a detainee accused of leading a deadly attack against a Christian church seized an officer’s pistol early Sunday morning.

The inmates’ ability to go on a rampage and kill so many guards raises concerns about the adequacy of Iraq’s detention facilities, where numerous high-value prisoners are being held. —ARK

The New York Times:

Several inmates seized a cache of grenades and weapons and killed six security officers, including a high-ranking counter-terrorism official. The inmates overran part of the jail until they were beaten back by an Iraqi police assault team at about 4:30 a.m. Ten inmates were killed, the officials said.

... Iraqi officials said that the assault appeared to have been planned in advance, but they provided few other details. The office of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki released a statement saying he had formed a committee to investigate. He ordered security forces to be “more alert” to prevent future breaches.

... Iraqi politicians were quick to criticize security measures in the facility, where the grenades seized by the inmates had been sitting on a table. Critics said that officers in the jail appeared to underestimate the threat posed by the inmates.

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