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16 killed in clashes at Iraqi detention center

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BAGHDAD >> Detainees at an Iraqi detention facility tried to overpower their guards during a prison break Sunday morning in a violent clash that left 16 people, including six police officers, officials said.

The melee at the Ministry of Interior’s Baghdad compound raises questions about how a group of detainees at what is supposed to be one of the most secure facilities in the country managed to launch such a fierce attack.

The detainees were being moved between buildings at the sprawling ministry compound in eastern Baghdad when some of the detainees, who were not believed to be shackled, tried to overpower the police and take away their weapons, said a ministry official on the scene.

He said about 20 to 25 prisoners were being moved when the incident broke out. They managed to seize weapons from some of the guards and open fire.

In the ensuing melee, which lasted for three to four hours, six police and ten detainees were killed. An additional eight police officers and six detainees were wounded.

Police and hospital officials confirmed the casualties.

All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

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