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Al Qaeda on the rise?

On Tuesday, Al Qaeda officially claimed responsibility for two separate mass-jailbreaks in Iraq which freed around 500 senior terrorists, some of whom were on death row for their role in deadly attacks against civilians and security forces.

In an online statement, the group claimed that Sunday’s attacks were the final one in a campaign to free Al Qaeda prisoners and target justice system officials, and that they were preceded by “months” of delicate planning. Iraqi officials had initially denied that any prisoners had escaped, but were forced to backtrack as the sheer scale of the jailbreak became clear.

At least 20 security guards died in that attack, and Iraqi government officials have expressed concern that the scores of freed terrorists may seek to exact vengeance on the security services, and further fuel the continuing instability and bloodshed in the

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