Mortar attacks kills at least 21

Heavy fighting today as at least 21 die in a mortar attack on a jail west of Baghdad.


A mortar attack on a Baghdad facility Tuesday killed more than 21 detainees, a U.S. Army spokesman said.
Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said 18 mortars struck the Baghdad confinement facility Tuesday afternoon.
“Preliminary reports indicate that more than 21 detainees were killed and more than 100 wounded,” Kimmitt said at a news briefing.

More details from AP:

  • Reports vary, but 12, or possibly 18, rounds fell on the prison west of Baghdad.
  • 22 people are dead and 92 injured in the attack.
  • The compound attacked was for Iraqis suspected of being involved in anti-Coalition violence.
  • The CPA believes Iraqi fighters are behind the attack.

Sources in the military who have returned to the United States tell me that the prison is called Camp Ganchy (GAN-chee) in the neighborhood of Al Hajj Sulayman al-Dari, right near Highway 10. Often rocketed and otherwise coming under fire, the camp is used to hold Iraqi security prisoners accused of everything from carrying a pistol to firing RPGs at U.S. troops. The families of detained men usually gather outside the camp because the U.S. forces have no way to tell the families the men are in custody and no one gets their one phone call.
Additionally, regarding the closing of the roads “I mentioned Sunday”:, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, chief spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force 7, clarified an earlier statement:

The idea is not that these roads are closed.  The idea is that there will be times when these roads will be closed for repair and for expeditious delivery of some of the convoys.  But you are absolutely right, it may be that you can go all the way from the south up to Balad without finding any of the closed segments.  It is not an intention to close the entire road for a semi-permanent period of time; it is, as and when necessary, closing certain segments of that for repair, for security, and then opening it up as soon as possible.