Al-Qaeda Claims It Freed Hundreds in Mass Jail Raids

World | July 23, 2013, Tuesday // 17:04|  views

Al-Qaeda’s Iraq branch has said it carried out two mass jailbreaks in Iraq, which freed hundreds of prisoners including senior leaders of the Islamist militant group.

In an online statement, al-Qaeda said Sunday's attack was the final one in a campaign aimed at freeing inmates and targeting justice system officials, the BBC informs.

At least 20 security guards died when gunmen stormed the Abu Ghraib and Taji jails near Baghdad.

On Tuesday, an al-Qaeda affiliate calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant said it carried out the attacks on the prisons.

The group, which was formed of al-Qaeda groups in Iraq and Syria, claimed some 500 militants were among the hundreds of prisoners who had escaped.

The attacks on the prisons came a year after al-Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate announced it would target the justice system.

Al Jazeera has reminded that prisons in Iraq are periodically hit by escape attempts, uprisings and other unrest.

Abu Ghraib became notorious after photographs showing Iraqi detainees being humiliated and abused by their US guards were published in 2004. It also served as a torture centre under Saddam Hussein's ousted regime.

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Tags: al-Qaeda, Iraq, prisons


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