BAGHDAD, Iraq – Insurgents blew up car bombs and fired rocket propelled grenades at the Abu Ghraib (search) prison west of Baghdad (search), injuring 44 U.S. forces and 13 prisoners after a period of declining attacks that had raised hopes the insurgency might be weakening.
Late Saturday, dozens of insurgents attacked the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, resulting in a clash that lasted about 40 minutes, 1st Lt. Adam Rondeau (search) said. He added that it was unclear if the clash was aimed at helping prisoners escape, although the militants were unable to penetrate the prison's walls and no detainees were set free.
"This was obviously a very well-organized attack and a very big attack," Rondeau said.
On Sunday, U.S. military officials raised the casualty toll from 20 to 44 U.S. soldiers and Marines wounded.
Lt. Col. Guy Rudisill said one attacker was killed in the clash, but none were detained. He didn't give further details.
Some soldiers were evacuated with serious injuries, officials said, but many wounds were minor and treated at the scene.
Officials refused to say whether the insurgents carrying out the attack were arrested or suffered casualties.
Abu Ghraib was at the center of a prisoner abuse scandal that broke out in 2004 when pictures showing soldiers piling naked inmates in a pyramid and humiliating them sexually became public. The resulting scandal tarnished the military's image worldwide and sparked investigations of detainee abuses.
The United States is holding about 10,500 prisoners in Iraq, with 3,446 at Abu Ghraib.
Also Sunday, two bystanders were injured when a bomb destroyed a store in southeast Baghdad, police Lt. Mazin Saeed said. It was unclear why the store was targeted.