Reports of security forces completely foiling two jailbreaks yesterday near Baghdad were premature. Clashes continued for at least 10 hours overnight as several hundred detainees apparently made their escape at one or both prisons. The two facilities are located just outside the capital in Taji and Abu Ghraib. The number of casualties rose overnight as well.
At the Abu Ghraib prison, at least two suicide bombers attacked the facility, while other militants launched a rocket and grenade attack. Their colleagues were also stationed on a nearby highway to fend off reinforcement forces sent in from Baghdad. At least 20 security members and 21 militants/inmates were killed. Another 40 of the security forces were wounded, along with 25 militants/inmates. Although some of the prisoners were recaptured, about 500 are estimated to have fled the jail. Many of them were awaiting execution. A Justice Ministry spokesman denied that anyone escaped.
Sixteen soldiers and six militants were killed at the Taji prison. Another 13 soldiers were wounded. There are conflicting reports as to whether any inmates were able to escape. An Iraqi security commission member suggested in an online statement that several hundred Taji detainees were freed as well.
In Mosul, about 25 people were killed and 29 more were wounded in a suicide attack on an army convoy in the Kukajli district; civilians were among the casualties. A bomb in Ba’ath wounded three security members. Another bomb wounded four people, including a civilian, in the Muthanna neighborhood. Three policemen were killed and two civilians were wounded in Ras al-Jadda. The bodies of four kidnapped policemen were discovered bearing gunshot wounds in Tal Zalatt.
A province official was assassinated in Kirkuk.
An I.E.D. in the far western town of Husayba wounded four security members.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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- Eight Killed in Iraq as Turks Battle PKK – March 16th, 2019
- Two militiamen Among 11 Killed in Iraq – March 14th, 2019