Guards put down riots at two Baghdad prisons Tuesday, firing in the air and swinging clubs after inmates set tents, garbage and blankets on fire, officials said.

Twelve prisoners suffered burns and one was shot in the leg, police and prison officials said.

The unrest erupted when prisoners loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr at the 4th Risafa Detention Facility and at Baladiyat Prison were told they would be sent to a third lockup. After prisoners started fires, security forces stormed the two prisons, firing weapons and beating inmates with clubs to subdue them.

Later Tuesday, a bomb went off close to the outer fence of a Shiite mosque in eastern Baghdad, wounding eight passers-by, police said. Elsewhere in eastern Baghdad, two mortar rounds landed in an empty yard near the Interior Ministry, causing no damage or injuries.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Violence in Iraq has dropped sharply in recent years, but bombing and shooting attacks, including those targeting the security forces and institutions of the Shiite-dominated government are still common.


Additional reporting by Associated Press writer Mazin Yahya.