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Explosion north of Baghdad kills 11 Iraqi soldiers

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi military officials say a controlled explosion of confiscated weapons went awry today, killing 11 Iraqi soldiers.

The blast occurred in an area where American and Iraqi forces routinely carry out explosions to destroy weapons seized during raids in and around the northern city of Mosul.

Witnesses say American soldiers had cordoned off the area.

The latest incident comes amid new questions about the capabilities of Iraqi security forces following yesterday's escape of 16 prisoners -- including five al-Qaida-linked inmates awaiting execution -- from a jail in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.

A police official says Iraqi security officers captured one of the escapees early today. Another was captured shortly after Thursday's escape, when the prisoners made their way out through a bathroom window in a makeshift jail cell.

The official says an investigation is under way into how they managed to escape.


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