Skip to main content
Iraq Transition

Nine dead in Iraq military prison clash

Iraqi soldiers stand guard near a prison where nine people died Wednesday after a firefight erupted.


• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide



BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Nine people died when clashes broke out between guards and prisoners at an Iraqi military base in northern Baghdad Wednesday morning, U.S. military and Iraqi officials said.

The incident occurred at al Addala base in Baghdad's Kadimiya neighborhood, which houses suspects accused of major crimes, including terrorism. Iraqis and foreign nationals are being held at the base.

According to the Justice Ministry, three guards took three prisoners out for cleaning duty.

The three prisoners attacked the guards and disarmed one before killing all three and beginning to free other prisoners, the ministry said.

Other prison guards and the Iraqi army responded to the attack, and an hour-long firefight ensued against seven armed prisoners; four detainees, another guard and a translator were killed, the ministry said.

The gunbattle wounded three guards and eight detainees, three of them seriously; no prisoners escaped during the firefight, which was confined to a building that contains the prison cells.

The U.S. military said "16 prisoners attempted to escape the facility after first storming the armory and obtaining an undetermined number of weapons."

The military said that one U.S. soldier was also wounded in the firefight, noting that there had been U.S. trainers on the Iraqi base at the time. The military account said five prisoners were injured.

Violence claims ministry official

Meanwhile, an official in Iraq's Interior Ministry was gunned down in western Baghdad's al Yarmouk neighborhood Tuesday evening, according to emergency police.

Gunmen sprayed Col. Haider Ali with bullets, killing him instantly, while he was outside his car, a police official said.

Separately, the director general of Diyala municipalities escaped an assassination attempt Wednesday morning when gunmen attacked his car east of Baquba -- an assault that wounded two of his guards, an official with the Diyala Joint Coordination Center told CNN.

Mujwal Mehdi was traveling on a road between Kanan and Baquba about 12 miles (20 km) east of Baquba when the gunmen opened fire around 8 a.m. (12 a.m. ET.)

Mehdi's guards were taken to a Baquba hospital for treatment.

Also Wednesday morning, two Iraqi police were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in northern Baghdad's al Waziriya neighborhood, emergency police said.

In southern Baghdad, police found a body in a drainage canal in the al-Dora district. The body has not been identified, the police said.

Elections protested, defended

A U.N. elections official in Iraq, Craig Jenness, said that the December 15 parliamentary elections "were in accordance with international standards" and there is no need for new nationwide balloting -- a demand of many unhappy with the polling.

One of the top critics of the electoral process -- former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi -- told CNN that a nationwide re-vote would not be practical.

In recent days, there have been mass demonstrations against the election process across the country, including one on Wednesday in Samarra -- which is north of Baghdad in the Sunni heartland. (Full story)

Other developments

  • Georgia National Guard troops who raided a Baghdad home and found a baby girl with spina bifida are working to get her to Atlanta, where a neurosurgeon has promised to perform a delicate operation for free. Doctors said the baby has only a short time to live without medical attention. (Full story)
  • Interpol, the international police agency, Wednesday issued an "international wanted persons notice" for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al Qaeda in Iraq. (Full story)
  • The Arabic-language TV network Al-Arabiya aired video Wednesday of a French engineer held captive in Iraq and said his captors threatened to kill him unless France ends its "illegitimate presence" in the country. (Full story)
  • U.S. and Iraqi soldiers discovered and destroyed three weapons caches in north-central Iraq Tuesday, a military statement said. U.S. soldiers discovered about 400 mortar rounds and other munitions while on patrol near Hawija. Iraqi and U.S. soldiers also uncovered and destroyed two smaller caches Near Bayji.
  • CNN's Arwa Damon and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

    Story Tools
    Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
    Top Stories
    Get up-to-the minute news from CNN gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
    Top Stories
    Get up-to-the minute news from CNN gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
    Search JobsMORE OPTIONS

    © 2007 Cable News Network.
    A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
    Terms under which this service is provided to you.
    Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
    Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
    Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
    Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines