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Terrorists attack Abu Ghuraib in a bid to free the criminals imprisoned there

Insurgents attacked the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad, injuring 20 U.S. forces and 12 prisoners on Saturday while six people were killed elsewhere in Iraq following a period of declining attacks that had raised hopes the insurgency might be weakening.

At least 40 militants fired rocket-propelled grenades and set off two car bombs at the infamous prison as darkness fell, 1st Lt. Adam Rondeau said. Soldiers and Marines stationed at the detention facility responded, and the resulting clash and gunfight lasted about 40 minutes

Iraq - Insurgents attacked the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad, injuring 20 U.S. forces and 12 prisoners on Saturday while six people were killed elsewhere in Iraq following a period of declining attacks that had raised hopes the insurgency might be weakening.

At least 40 militants fired rocket-propelled grenades and set off two car bombs at the infamous prison as darkness fell, 1st Lt. Adam Rondeau said. Soldiers and Marines stationed at the detention facility responded, and the resulting clash and gunfight lasted about 40 minutes.

"This was obviously a very well-organized attack and a very big attack," Rondeau said.

Officials have said that overall attacks have been declining in Iraq, but they also have noted that insurgents seem to be focusing their efforts on bigger, better organized operations.

It wasn't immediately known if any of the insurgents carrying out the attack were arrested or suffered casualties. Plumes of smoke were seen rising from the area.

Abu Ghraib was at the center of a prisoner abuse scandal that broke out in 2004 when pictures showing soldiers piling naked inmates in a pyramid and humiliating them sexually became public. The resulting scandal tarnished the military's image worldwide and sparked investigations of detainee abuses.

The United States is holding about 10,500 prisoners in Iraq.

Both the U.S. and Iraqi officials acknowledge they have a long way to go. Early Saturday, gunmen opened fire from a car in Baghdad, killing local official Hassib Zamil outside of the Education Ministry offices in the Sadr City neighborhood.

In the central city of Khan Bani Saad, a car bomb killed five people, including four police officers on patrol. Two police officers and three civilians also were wounded, provincial police Col. Mudafar al-Jubori said.

A car bomb also injured six Iraqis and set a house on fire in the northern city of Mosul, the U.S. military said. The attack happened Saturday as coalition soldiers, acting on a citizens' tip, were arriving to investigate, the U.S. military said.

It also reported that a U.S. Marine was killed by enemy fire while conducting security operations in Ramadi on Friday.

In a separate statement, the U.S. military praised an edict issued by Sunni clerics that called for Iraqis to join police and army forces, saying it was a sign that people were fed up with the insurgency. But the statement added that enlistees "must be prepared to serve all the people."

The edict, read Friday by a cleric in the influential Association of Muslim Scholars, instructed enlistees to refrain from helping foreign troops against their own countrymen. As the Iraq police and army grow, the edict said it wanted Sunnis to prevent security forces from falling into "the hands of those who have caused chaos, destruction and violated the sanctities."

The announcement, endorsed by a group of 64 Sunni clerics and scholars, could help the new government boost the image of new police and soldiers struggling to fight the insurgency. For months, Sunni clerics have warned their faithful against cooperating with officials.

Story credit : Yahoo News

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