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Mortar Attack Kills At Least 5 Inmates at Baghdad Prison


A mortar attack on a government-run prison in Baghdad has killed at least five Iraqi inmates and wounded more than 20 other people.

An Iraqi security official initially said seven prisoners died in Monday's attack. The U.S. military released a statement saying five detainees died.

Separately, the U.S. military says an oil refinery fire in Baghdad Monday was the result of an industrial accident, not a mortar attack as Iraqi officials initially reported.

The military says U.S. soldiers who arrived at the Doura refinery in southern Baghdad determined that a pipe explosion caused the fire.

Reuters news agency quotes Iraq's oil ministry spokesman Assim Jihad as saying the fire is now under control.

In other news, U.S. and Iranian experts will meet December 18 in Baghdad to discuss Iraq security issues.

The discussions are part of an effort to lay the groundwork for a fourth ambassadorial-level session in a U.S.-Iranian dialogue on Iraq that began last May.

U.S. and Iranian officials have met three times this year in the Iraqi capital, but the talks ended inconclusively with each side blaming the other for Iraq's violence.

Acting State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos told reporters Monday that U.S. officials hope Iran is prepared to contribute to lasting stability in Iraq.

Senior diplomat Marcie Ries will be the U.S. representative to the upcoming talks. There was no immediate word on the Iranian delegation.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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