An Iraqi Justice Ministry official said Wednesday that this week's closure of the infamous Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad is temporary and that it will be reopened once the security situation in the surrounding area is stable.

After the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, Abu Ghraib was notorious for a 2004 scandal over abuses of detainees by American guards.

The prison is located on Baghdad's outskirts at the edge of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province, an area that sees frequent clashes between an al-Qaeda splinter group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and government forces and allied Sunni tribal militias.

- AP