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Iraq shutters infamous Abu Ghraib prison due to security fears

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Iraq authorities said Tuesday they've shut down the notorious Abu Ghraib prison located just outside Baghdad due to security concerns.

The nation's justice minister, Hassan al-Shimmari, said the prison's 2,400 inmates have been taken to various other facilities across the country. He didn't elaborate on what the security concerns were that led to the prison's closure, except to say that the facility is located in a "restive area," the Associated Press reported.

Abu Ghraib is near a province populated mostly by Sunni Muslims, a segment that's been embroiled in clashes with groups tied to al Qaeda, AP said.

It was just a few months ago that rebel al Qaeda groups attacked Abu Ghraib and set free hundreds of inmates, killing several security guards in the process.

The prison, which used to be operated by the United States, was the focus of a 2004 scandal in which American security forces were accused of abusing inmates.

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