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Jail break in Iraq; terror leader dies

Eighteen people, including an al Qaeda leader and a senior Iraqi counterterrorism official, died in a battle between inmates and security officers during a jailbreak attempt.

Eighteen people, including an al Qaeda leader and a senior Iraqi counterterrorism official, died in a battle between inmates and security officers during a jailbreak attempt in Baghdad yesterday, officials said.

Huthaifa al-Batawi, accused of a deadly attack on a church, was killed along with 10 other senior al Qaeda militants, according to Baghdad’s security spokesman Major Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi.

The skirmish at an Interior Ministry counterterrorism jail complex in Baghdad’s central Karrada district began when a prisoner grabbed a gun from a guard, killed several guards and ministry officers, and gave a weapon to other inmates, Moussawi said.

Inmates controlled a section of the facility for several hours before a SWAT team brought the siege to an end, officials said. The jail housed about 250 inmates, many of them members of al Qaeda, one source said.

 
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