Ten Iraqi policemen, eight prisoners killed in jail break north of Baghdad

Reuters News
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Posted: May 09, 2015 3:50 AM

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Ten Iraqi policemen and eight prisoners were killed late on Friday as dozens of inmates escaped from a prison holding 300 people charged with acts of terrorism, a security official and a police source said on Saturday.

It was not clear if any high-profile prisoners were held in the prison or if any had escaped from the facility in Al-Khalis, about 80 km (50 miles) northeast of Baghdad, Diyala Province's security committee leader, Seyyid Sadiq al-Husseini, said.

"The inmates started fighting among themselves which drew the attention of the police guards who went to break up the fight," the police source, who asked not to be named, said.

"Then the prisoners attacked them, stripped them of their weapons and started a riot while also managing to capture the armory of the prison."

Iraq's government faces multiple security challenges, including from Islamic State militants who have seized large parts of the north and west, and widespread sectarian violence.

(Reporting by Baghdad bureau; Editing by Louise Ireland)