Al-Qaida affiliates in Iraq were blamed for orchestrating a weekend prison break at two detention centers, including the Abu Ghraib facility, near Baghdad. Several hundred prisoners were freed during attacks on the compounds.
The raid followed a dour assessment on Iraq from U.N. special envoy Martin Kobler, who told the U.N. Security Council last week a climate of fear is prevalent in the country.
British Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt said Tuesday acts of violence and terrorism have no place in Iraq's future.
"These attacks follow a number of horrific incidents that have taken place across Iraq recently," he said in a statement. "That these attacks have taken place during the holy month of Ramadan, a time for tolerance, is especially disturbing."
The Washington Post reported Tuesday some of the escaped prisoners may include high-ranking officials within al-Qaida's hierarchy in Iraq. Aymenn al-Tamimi, a regional export from the Middle East Forum, told the newspaper the raid was "a significant milestone in the resurgence of al-Qaida in Iraq."
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