Iraqi officials say inmates at Abu Ghraib prison started a fire and attacked guards in a disturbance that required authorities to call in Iraqi troops.

The US military says American helicopters were also called in for support after the prisoners tried to overpower guards in an apparent escape attempt.

The US military spokesman Master Sgt. Nicholas Conner says the unrest began when three inmates started a fire in their cell on Thursday night.

Mr. Conner says Iraqi authorities reported that three guards and three prisoners were injured before security forces regained control. Mr. Conner spoke on Friday.

Abu Ghraib gained international notoriety in 2004 after the release of photos showing US soldiers abusing prisoners.

The prison was later transferred to Iraqi control.

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