Violence exploded in Iraq over the past 24 hours near Baghdad and in Mosul, leaving nearly 50 people dead and hundreds of al Qaeda-linked militants free in a massive jailbreak, authorities said Monday.
Security forces battled militants outside two major penitentiaries near the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and thwarted prison breaks, the Justice Ministry said Monday. The incidents occurred Sunday night at Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, and al-Taji prison, north of the capital.
The Justice Ministry said well-armed "terrorist groups" attacked the prisons simultaneously using mortars. They also carried rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, and were accompanied by suicide bombers and car bombs, the ministry said.