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Dozens of insurgents stormed a jail in the Sunni Muslim heartland north of Baghdad about dawn Tuesday and freed all 33 prisoners. At least 17 police, a court guard and 10 attackers died, authorities said.
The assailants lobbed a mortar round at the police station in Muqdadiyah before storming it on foot, firing automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, said police Brig. Ali al-Jabouri.
The freed prisoners, mainly suspected insurgents, were being held in a lockup in the Muqdadiyah judicial compound that also included the police headquarters and a court, al-Jabouri said. Fifteen attackers were injured, he said.
After burning the police station, the insurgents detonated a string of roadside bombs as they fled, taking the bodies of many of their dead comrades with them, police said.
At least 13 police officers and civilians were injured in the attack in Muqdadiyah, about 90 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of the capital.
The assault came a day after at least 39 other people were killed by insurgents and shadowy sectarian gangs in Iraq. Much of the Monday violence targeted police.
Roadside bombs - one just a few hundred yards from an Interior Ministry lockup in central Baghdad and one in a farming area near the so-called Triangle of Death south of Baghdad - killed at least seven police and one prisoner.
A policeman in a joint American-Iraqi patrol was killed in Baghdad during fighting with insurgents, and a car bomb targeting a police checkpoint exploded in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, killing another policeman, authorities said.