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American Forces Press Service

Riot at Camp Bucca Leaves Four Detainees Dead, Six Injured

American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 31, 2005 -- A riot in a U.S.-run prison in southern Iraq shortly after noon today left four detainees dead and six others injured, U.S. officials said.

The violence erupted at the Camp Bucca Theater Internment Facility after a routine search for contraband in one of the camp's 10 compounds. The facility's commander immediately deployed all available guards to the camp in an attempt to control the situation, officials said.

The riot quickly spread to three additional compounds, with detainees throwing rocks and fashioning weapons from materials inside their living areas. The four compounds involved in the riot house more than 2,900 of the camp's 5,300 detainees.

Officials said guards attempted to calm the increasingly volatile situation using verbal warnings and, when that failed, by use of nonlethal force. After about 45 minutes of escalating danger, officials said, lethal force was used to quell the violence. "The situation quickly began to subside after the use of lethal force," said a written statement issued by Multinational Force Iraq. Medical personnel on site provided immediate aide to the injured.

The injuries, officials said, resulted from both the use of force to control the situation and from violence by other detainees within the camp during the riot. Three injured detainees were evacuated from the facility for treatment at a military hospital, while the remaining three were treated at the facility's medical clinic.

The names of the detainees who died in the incident are being provided to the Iraqi government and the International Committee of the Red Cross for notification of family members.

The cause of the riot and the use of lethal force is under investigation by the chain of command and the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command, which officials said is standard procedure whenever a detainee death occurs.

(From a Multinational Force Iraq news release.)

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