TODAY   |  July 23, 2013

Iraq in civil war; more than 250 killed in 10 days

Car bombs, ambushes, and gunfights have killed more than 250 in Iraq in a little over a week, while attackers freed hundreds of militants from Abu Ghraib prison on Sunday. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.

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>>> the hunt is on for escaped militants in iraq after a deadly attack by insurgents. richard engle has the latest. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning. iraqi security forces set up extra checkpoints to try and recapture some of these escaped militants including some of the top leaders from al qaeda in iraq . iraq is now back in it's civil war u.s. officials tell nbc news. the hard fought u.s. surge there. the benefits of an american war to stop iraq 's civil war are being wiped out. in car bombs , ambushes and gun fights, more than 250 killed in 10 days. the prison, notorious for american abuses and humiliations remains an open wound . on sunday, attackers freed hundreds, some say up to 500 militants in a jailbreak including dozens of high level al qaeda fighters. suicide bombers drove cars to the prison's front gate as gunmen attacked guards with rocket propelled grenades . some in suicide vests stormed inside while others fought off reinforcements. almost simultaneously another attack on a prison near taji in baghdad but government troops fought that one off using helicopters. in all, more than 25 iraqi security forces were killed. tamron, the escaped militants main target is likely the iraqi government but the militants could also try to go to northern syria just outside of iraq or even leave the region,