“Officials: Iraqi prisoner grabs gun; firefight leaves 17 dead,” by Mohammed Tawfeeq forÂ CNN, May 8 (thanks to JW)
Baghdad (CNN) — An Iraqi prisoner grabbed a police officer’s gun while being moved from a detention cell Sunday and opened fire, triggering a gunbattle between prisoners and police officers that lasted for hours and left 17 people dead, a military spokesman said.The victims included six police officers, said Gen. Qassim Atta of Baghdad Operations Command. Several others were wounded, including another suspect in the church siege, Iraqi interior ministry officials said.
The shooter, identified as Huthaifa al-Batawi, managed to free other insurgents and hand them the dead police officers’ weapons. He was then killed in a gunfight, officials said.
Iraqi officials describe al-Batawi as the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the “mastermind, direct supervisor and planner” of the October 2010 siege at Our Lady of Salvation Church that left more than 70 people dead and 75 more wounded.
He was handcuffed and was being moved from a detention cell inside the interior ministry compound to an office where he was to be questioned in the investigation when he grabbed the gun, the ministry said. […]
Interior ministry officials said al-Batawi confessed to his role in the church siege after his November 2010 arrest. He told Iraqi authorities he was the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group that includes a number of Sunni extremist organizations and has ties to al Qaeda in Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for the Baghdad church siege….