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Prisoners from Iraq's Abu Ghraib escape

Hunt on for 28 missing detainees


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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi police searched Friday for 28 prisoners from Abu Ghraib who escaped from their custody while being transported to another facility in Baghdad, police and U.S. military spokesmen said.

Two police officers may have been involved in Thursday night's escape, Iraqi officials said.

The detainees were aboard a bus from the prison to another Iraqi correctional facility, said Lt. Col. Barry Johnson.

Iraqi police said several detainees had their hands bound with rope.

The inmates loosened the rope and managed to overpower the police and guards. One took an AK-47 assault rifle from a police officer and shot the officer, critically wounding him, police said. Four guards and the bus driver were severely beaten, police said.

Handcuffs and rope were found scattered in the street afterward.

The 38 detainees on the bus initially escaped, but Iraqi police said they captured 10 of them shortly afterward.

A source with the Iraqi Interior Ministry said authorities were investigating the trip because it was odd for prisoners to be moved at night with little security.

Officials said they are questioning the detainees who were recaptured.

Iraqi authorities have set up checkpoints in the western Baghdad neighborhood where the escape occurred, the Interior Ministry source said.

Of the 28 escapees, two are believed to be Egyptians. The detainees are accused of committing crimes against Iraqis, ranging from murder to theft.

Other developments

  • Six people were killed Friday when a minibus carrying Iraqi civilians collided head-on with a U.S. military tank near Muqdadiyah, northeast of Baquba, a military spokesman said. Eight people were injured in the crash, which is under investigation, said Maj. Neal O'Brien of the 1st Infantry Division. (Full story)
  • A military court in Baghdad on Friday convicted a U.S. soldier of murder and conspiracy to murder, said a spokesman for the Army's 1st Cavalry Division. Staff Sgt. Cardenas Alban shot a wounded Iraqi to death last year in the Sadr City section of Baghdad. (Full story)
  • Three Kurdish troops were killed Thursday while fighting alongside Iraqi national guard forces against insurgents in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, a Kurdish Democratic Party official said. The party is one of two main factions of Iraq's Kurdish minority.
  • Two U.S. Marines were killed in action Thursday "while conducting security and stability operations" in Iraq's western Anbar province, the military said. No details were released. A soldier with the Army's 1st Infantry Division also died in a noncombat incident. The death is under investigation. With the deaths, 1,364 U.S. troops have died in the Iraq war. Of those, 1,076 were killed in combat.
  • Gunmen opened fire Thursday on a minibus in central Baghdad -- killing all six Iraqis on board -- before abducting a Turkish construction worker, who was waiting for the bus outside a hotel, police said.
  • Military officials said a soldier with the U.S.-led multinational forces was killed Thursday when a roadside bomb exploded near a patrol in Mosul. Two soldiers were wounded in the blast, officials said.
  • A car bomb exploded outside a Shiite Muslim mosque in Khan Bani Saad, killing four Iraqi policemen and three civilians, a U.S. military spokesman said. The blast in the town south of Baquba also wounded 30 other people, the spokesman said.
  • Gunmen killed an election worker Thursday in Baghdad, authorities said, the latest in a series of attacks as the January 30 elections approach. Officials identified the man as Mohammed Jassem Oubadi, a member of the Baghdad City Council and director of the voting station in the Khadmiye neighborhood.
  • CNN's Arwa Damon and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.


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