Last Updated: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:59 am (KSA) 08:59 am (GMT)

Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for deadly Iraq violence

Mourners grieve over the coffin during the funeral for a victim who was killed in a bomb attack in Samarra, Iraq. (Reuters)
Mourners grieve over the coffin during the funeral for a victim who was killed in a bomb attack in Samarra, Iraq. (Reuters)

Iraq’s al-Qaeda branch, known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks that killed 38 in Baghdad and across the country on Thursday.

The Islamic State of Iraq says it targeted security forces and government officials in “response to the campaign of detaining, torture, embargo and confiscation of lands of Sunni people, especially in Baghdad and its outskirts.”

The claim was posted on militant websites early Friday.

“A part of the security and military efforts of the Islamic State mobilized for a new wave and... another bloody Thursday on the heads of the apostates, and in simultaneous operations targeted the security and military, and government centers and leadership,” it said.

“We assure you that this invasion is the beginning of what is waiting for you in the next days, and one phase in a blessed series that has been launched, and will not stop until God judges between us” and the Shiites, the statement said.

The attacks, it said, were “in response to the waves of arrests and the siege and confiscation of lands in Sunni areas,” specifically in and around Baghdad.

Dozens of bombings and shootings in seven different provinces killed 38 people and wounded more than 170 on Thursday, the deadliest day in Iraq since March 20, when 50 people were killed and 255 wounded in attacks also claimed by al-Qaeda.

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