Hundreds of convicts escaped Iraq’s Abu Ghraib after al Qaeda launched a military-style assault to free it’s compatriots.
The deadly raid hit as Sunni Muslim militants began to regain momentum in their insurgency against the Shi’ite-led government. Suicide bombers drove cars packed with explosives to the gates of the prison and blasted their way into the compound.
Gunmen attacked the guards and other militants took up positions on the main road to fight off reinforcements as several more militants with suicide vests freed prisoners inside.
Ten policeman and four militants were killed in the ensuing violence, and over 500 prisoners, some of them high level members of al-Qaeda, escaped from the prison.
A simultaneous attack on another prison, in Taji, around 12 miles north of Baghdad, followed a similar pattern, but guards managed to prevent any inmates escaping. Sixteen soldiers and six militants were killed.