A manhunt is underway in Iraq for hundreds of convicts, including senior al Qaeda terrorists, who broke out of Abu Ghraib prison after a military-style raid to free them, authorities said on Monday.
Between 500 to 1,000 prisoners have escaped as a result of the attack, “most of them were convicted senior members of al Qaeda and had received death sentences," said Hakim Zamili, a senior member of the security and defense committee in parliament.
Suicide bombers drove cars with explosives into the gates of the prison on the outskirts of Baghdad on Sunday night, while gunmen attacked guards with mortar fire as well as rocket propelled grenades.
Other militants held the main road, fighting off security reinforcements sent from Baghdad, as several insurgents wearing suicide vests entered Abu Ghraib on foot to help free the inmates.
Ten policemen and four militants were killed in the fighting, which continued until early Monday, when military helicopters arrived to help regain control.
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