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Senior Al-Qaeda Figures Among At Least 500 Prison Escapees

Officials say at least 500 prisoners, including senior Al-Qaeda members, escaped when militants attacked two prisons in Iraq.

The coordinated attacks on Taji, north of Baghdad, and Abu Ghraib, west of the capital, were launched on the night on July 21 and lasted several hours.

Hakem al-Zamili, a member of parliament's security and defense committee, said some 500 prisoners, "mostly members of the Al-Qaeda network," escaped from Abu Ghraib.

Lawmaker Shwan Tah said that between 500 and 1,000 inmates escaped from the two prisons.

The military-style attacks included the use of suicide bombers, car bombs, mortar fire, and rocket-propelled grenades.

At least 25 Iraqi security force members were killed.

Elsewhere in Iraq, 18 people were killed and 30 injured in separate attacks in the city of Mosul, 400 kilometers north of Baghdad.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa

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