Incident Summary:

04/20/2004: Approximately 22 prisoners were killed and 120 injured when 18 mortar shells hit the U.S. Army-operated Abu Ghraib prison in western Baghdad, Iraq. The motive was unclear, and no group claimed responsibility.




Middle East & North Africa

region/u.s. state:

Al Anbar

Abu Ghraib

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Police
Name of Entity Abu Ghraib Prison
Specific Description Abu Ghraib Prison in Baghdad
Nationality of Target Iraq
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Inmates at Abu Ghraib Prison in Baghdad
Nationality of Target Iraq
Additional Information
Hostages No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Projectile (rockets, mortars, RPGs, etc.)
Weapon Details
Eighteen mortar shells struck the prison.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 22 Fatalities / 120 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 22
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 120
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Twenty-one Prisoners Killed in Baghdad Prison Attack,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur, April 20, 2004."
"Thanassis Cambanis, "Guerrilla Attack Kills Twenty-Two Iraqis At Prison,” The Boston Globe, April 21, 2004."