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Twin prison attacks in Iraq kills scores of security forces

Two major Iraqi prisons were attacked outside of Baghdad, killing at least 26 security forces.

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Iraqis walk past destroyed shops following car bomb in the Topchi neighborhood of northern Baghdad, on July 21, 2013. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

In what is becoming a near-daily occurence in Iraq, at least 37 people were killed across the country Monday in sectarian violence.

Two major prisons were attacked overnight outside of Baghdad, killing at least 26 security forces, Reuters reported.

The numbers of prisoners who may have escaped is still unclear. English-language news sources claim that nobody escaped, but Arabic reports put the number of escapees in the hundreds.

Attacks on Taji prison began with bombs and mortars before a suicide bomber crashed into the main gate and militants opened fire on guards.

Abu Ghraib jail in western Baghdad also came under attack in the night between Sunday and Monday, Reuters said. Suicide belts and car bombs were later found nearby.

Analysts say that if there are escapees, they should be considered dangerous.

"Abu Ghraib and Taji prisons are really unpleasant places, especially for inmates jailed for involvement with Sunni terrorist groups," Jared Levy, director of Iraq operations at Dunia Frontier Consultants, told GlobalPost.

"I would speculate that a fair number of the escaped, if indeed there are escapees, will be hell-bent on revenge."

Also on Monday, an Iraqi army patrol was attacked by militants in the restive northern city of Mosul.

Nine soldiers and three civilians died when a suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into the patrol, the Associated Press reported.

There have been at least 2,000 Iraqis killed since April, mostly in bomb attacks.

More than 450 people have died in Iraq from violence in July alone and at least 284 during Ramadan.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iraq/130722/prison-attack-iraq-kills-scores-security-forces-hund-0