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Al-Qaeda Claims Responsibility For Iraq Prison Attacks

Mourners pray at the coffin of a victim killed during an attack on a prison in Taji -- one of two large-scale jailbreaks claimed by Al-Qaeda.
Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for coordinated attacks on two Iraqi prisons that freed hundreds of inmates, including some believed to be senior members of the militant group's leadership.

An online statement posted on July 23 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant -- the merged Al-Qaeda affiliates in Iraq and Syria -- said it had carried out the missions after months of preparations.

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

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

At least 25 Iraqi security force members were killed. Iraqi lawmakers have said that at least 500 inmates escaped from the two prisons.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters