Armed gunmen have launched an attack on the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, hitting the facility with rocket-propelled grenades and mortars, officials say.
The attackers hit the facility on the western outskirts of Baghdad late on Sunday night, as well as another prison in Taji, north of the capital.
An interior ministry source told Al Jazeera that soldiers, police and attack helicopters had been dispatched to the prison, where fighting and rioting by prisoners was ongoing.
“[Abu Ghraib prison] is now home to several high-ranking al-Qaeda prisoners, as is the prison in Taji,” reported Al Jazeera’s Jane Arraf in Baghdad. “It appears to be an attempt to free those prisoners.”
Elsewhere in Iraq on Sunday, bombings and shootings killed at least 13 people, as the death toll from a co-ordinated wave of late-night car bombings and other attacks the day before jumped past 70, authorities said.