Death toll updated (first version posted at 13:11)
At least 17 people died Sunday in an attempted prison breakout in Iraq, which a parliamentarian has blamed on the indefinite postponement of filling the country's top three security portfolios, dpa reported.
Six police officers and 11 al-Qaeda suspects were killed when militants detained in the Iraqi Interior Ministry clashed with the guards.
Parliamentarian Alia Nasif said the disagreement on appointing the ministers of defence, interior and national security was the reason behind security breaches in the country.
"We have to admit that the slowness of the security agencies is due to the disagreement over choosing candidates for the security portfolios," Nasif told the German Press Agency dpa.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has been the acting minister for those three key posts, because of disagreements between the different political blocs over who should fill them.
"I fear continuing violence will create a state of fear and take us back to square one," Nasif said.
Al-Maliki formed a committee to investigate the incident, in order to "prevent any security breach and reliance on incomplete assessments."
Sunday's attempt comes amid tight security measures in Iraq as officials expect organizations affiliated with the al-Qaeda terrorist network to seek revenge for the killing of its leader Osama bin Laden this week in Pakistan.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that "al-Qaeda revenge is likely."
"We expected that Iraqi forces would be able to gain steps ahead of al-Qaeda militants after the death of bin Laden, but reality shows that our security is still in a defensive position," Nasif said.
Abu Huzaifa al-Batawy, a militant accused of being behind a Baghdad church hostage taking last year, led the mutiny while the detainees were being questioned at the ministry's anti-terrorism department.
Clashes continued for more than six hours after the suspects managed to take over three guns from the guards, Qassim Atta, Baghdad's security chief said.
Brigadier Muayad Saleh, the head of the anti-terrorism and organized crime department, was among those killed.
Al-Batawy was arrested in December after the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaeda-affiliated group, claimed responsibility for the hostage taking in October at a Baghdad church in which 60 people died.