Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison closed

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IOL pic apr15 prison bars worn AFP File picture

Baghdad -

Iraq's justice minister says authorities have closed down a notorious prison west of Baghdad over security concerns.

Hassan al-Shimmari said on Tuesday that 2 400 inmates have been transferred from Abu Ghraib to other prisons in safer areas of the country.

He says it was a precautionary measure because the Abu Ghraib facility is located in “a restive area”.

The prison is at the edge of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province, which has been engulfed in clashes between an al-Qaeda splinter group and government forces.

Last July, militants attacked Abu Ghraib and another prison, setting free hundreds of inmates, including many militants.

Dozens of other inmates and security personnel were killed in the attack.

Under US troops, Abu Ghraib was at the centre of a 2004 scandal over detainee abuse. - Sapa-AP


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