"It was not immediately clear who killed these prisoners, the source said. An investigation was underway."
Baghdad, June 23 - At least 71 prisoners were killed Monday when militants attacked a bus convoy transferring them to another jail in Iraq's Babil province, a police source said.
The gunmen attacked a convoy of buses carrying dozens of inmates from a prison which were escorted by the army unit of al-Aqrab Brigade in the provincial capital of Hilla, some 100 km south of Baghdad, to the one in the town of al-Qasim, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Five gunmen were also killed in the gun battle and five guards wounded.
It was not immediately clear who killed these prisoners, the source said. An investigation was underway.
Al-Aqrab Brigade is a special force unit responsible for maintaining security in Babil province, particularly in the north of an area known as the Triangle of Death, a cluster of Sunni towns scattered north of the predominantly Shiite province of Babil.