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Context of 'April 20, 2004: Biggest Mortar Attack on Abu Ghraib Prison'

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Abu Ghraib is attacked roughly 25 times with mortar fire. Six detainees and two soldiers are killed and seventy-one people are injured. [International Committee of the Red Cross, 2/24/2004 pdf file; Guardian, 5/20/2004; Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] The prison complex “was mortared every single night,” Karpinski will later say. [Washington Post, 5/12/2004; Signal Newspaper, 7/4/2004]

Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives

Three mortar rounds kill at least five prisoners and injure 67 at Abu Ghraib. [International Committee of the Red Cross, 2/24/2004 pdf file]

Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives

A mortar attack kills two soldiers at Abu Ghraib, and injures Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan and ten other soldiers. Jordan, who has only just arrived at the prison (see September 17, 2003), is extremely traumatized by the deaths of the two soldiers, one of whom suffered immensely. Two Iraqis, a man and a woman, are quickly apprehended on suspicion of involvement in the mortar attack and brought to the prison where a team of military intelligence soldiers and the MP Internal Reaction Force (IRF) are waiting for them. Two military intelligence soldiers yell at the man and begin hitting him, while he remains passive and handcuffed. MP 1st Lt. David Sutton intervenes and stops the beating. The detainee is released later in the day when his involvement in the attack is determined unlikely. The abuse is subsequently reported to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Commander Lt. Col. Jerry L. Phillabaum. The MPs and five military intelligence soldiers who were present at the incident all provide witness statements. Interestingly, as Maj. Gen. George R. Fay later relates (see August 25, 2004), “While the MP statements all describe abuse at the hands of an unidentified MI [Military Intelliigence] person…, the MI statements all deny any abuse occurred.” Phillabaum reports the incident to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID), which determines there are insufficient grounds for prosecution. [US Department of Defense, 8/23/2004 pdf file]

Entity Tags: George R. Fay, Jerry L. Phillabaum, David Sutton, Steven L. Jordan

Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives

The worst mortar attack on Abu Ghraib to date takes place. Twenty-two Iraqi detainees are killed and more than 100 injured. [American Forces Press Service, 9/21/2004]

Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives

The number of inmates at Abu Ghraib is estimated to be about 5,000. [BBC, 8/4/2004]

Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives

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