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Iraq Transition

Insurgents attack Abu Ghraib prison


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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- At least 20 U.S. soldiers and 12 detainees were wounded when an estimated 40 to 60 insurgents attacked the infamous Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad on Saturday.

Two of the detainees were seriously wounded, a military spokesman said.

The soldiers were treated on site, and the two seriously wounded detainees were being treated at a hospital facility at the prison.

The attack occurred at 7:20 p.m. (10:30 a.m. ET) and involved two car bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire, the spokesman said.

"Fortunately, no multinational forces were killed in this attack, and they're continuing to protect the welfare of the detainees," said 1st Lt. Adam Rondeau, the U.S. military spokesman, about the people being detained in the prison.

The spokesman did not know whether they were suicide attacks, or how many insurgents were killed or wounded.

Abu Ghraib gained notoriety amid revelations U.S. soldiers abused prisoners there.

Violence elsewhere

Earlier Saturday, a car bomb exploded near the police station in the Iraqi city of Kan Bani Saad, killing five people, including four police officers, police said.

Police believe the remotely controlled bomb was in a taxi parked near the police station. It exploded as police were checking it, a police official said.

Along with the four dead, three people -- including two Iraqi police officers -- were wounded in the explosion, police said.

Kan Bani Saad is about 12 miles (20 km) south of Baquba.

In Mosul, insurgents set off a car bomb Saturday, injuring six Iraqis, including a child, and setting fire to a house, the U.S. military said.

Meanwhile, Education Ministry representative Habib Zamil al-Sodani was shot and killed on his way to work in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, an Iraqi police official told CNN Saturday.

Assembly prepares to form government

The transitional National Assembly is planning to meet Sunday for a third time in the hope that it can form a government.

The Shiite-led United Iraqi Alliance and the Kurdish alliance dominate the 275-member assembly and have sought out a Sunni Arab for a speaker candidate.

Sunni politicians have put forward Mishaan Jabouri, a member of the National Assembly. He is with the National Reconciliation and Liberation Party, a small party that won a tiny fraction of votes in the election.

However, he is said to be facing resistance from some in the United Iraqi Alliance, who say Jabouri has close ties to Saddam Hussein's old intelligence service.

But Sunnis fear that if Jabouri does not get the post -- especially if it goes to a UIA-backed Sunni Arab -- it will prompt a Sunni walkout in the assembly.

Jabouri, who was a journalist and businessman and was a refugee during the Saddam era, denies the suggestion of ties to Saddam's intelligence service.

Keeping Sunnis involved in the political process is regarded as essential. That's because they can use their clout as a bloc to thwart constitutional reform and could become a potent opposition force.

The assembly is to write a permanent constitution that would be put to voters in a referendum later this year.

CNN's Enes Dulami, Kevin Flower, Ayman Mohyeldin and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.


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