While the world’s eyes have been on other parts of the Muslim world, the Iraqis haven’t exactly been chilling.
An attempted mutiny by inmates turned into a gun battle inside a high security prison in Baghdad on Sunday, leaving at least 18 people dead, including six guards and Interior Ministry officers, news agencies reported.
There was no immediate indication that the prison revolt was a response to the killing of Osama bin Laden last week, although one of the inmates reported killed on Sunday was a senior commander of a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.
Maj. Gen Qassim al-Moussawi, a spokesman for security forces in Baghdad, was quoted by Reuters as saying that the fighting began when a prisoner grabbed a weapon from a guard and began shooting guards and ministry officers. Other prisoners then seized weapons and joined the fight, the general said.
The battle lasted more than three hours, agencies reported, but prison officials said no inmates had escaped.
Eight police officers and six detainees were wounded, The Associated Press reported.
About two dozen prisoners were being moved inside the prison when the revolt started, according to a source quoted by The A.P., and it was not clear that the detainees were shackled or in restraints at the time.
General Moussawi identified the dead insurgent commander as Huthaifa al-Batawi, known as the Emir of Baghdad. He has been described by Iraqi authorities as the organizer of an attack on a Baghdad church on Oct. 31 that killed nearly 60 people, including two priests.
Guess no matter how valiant our “Operation Iraqi Freedom” efforts were, sh*t will continue to be real out there.