The international police agency Interpol issued a regional security alert warning of the threat posed by two prison breaks in Iraq this week. High-ranking members of al-Qaida's hierarchy in Iraq escaped during terrorist raids on the Taji and Abu Ghraib detention centers near Baghdad.
A report by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the Security Council said violence in Iraq was at levels not seen since the country teetered on the brink of civil war six years ago.
"The scale of renewed violence in Iraq ... is alarming," his Wednesday report stated.
The Security Council unanimously passed a resolution to extend the mandate for the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq for a year. The resolution also calls on the Iraqi government to provide security and logistical support for the mission.
Ban in his report called on Iraqi leaders to find a political solution to the crisis "so that no space is left to those who seek to exploit the situation through violence and terror."