Al-Qaida in Iraq claims wave of attacks
An al-Qaida branch in Iraq claimed responsibility yesterday for bloody attacks that killed 65 people across the country a day earlier, underscoring the terror group’s potency a decade after the U.S.-led invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.
In a statement posted on a militant website, the Islamic State of Iraq said it unleashed the car bombs and other explosions to avenge the executions and “massacres” of convicted Sunni inmates held in Iraqi prisons.
It made no mention of the start of the war, but the claim of responsibility came 10 years after the U.S.-led war began with an airstrike in southern Baghdad in a failed attempt to kill Saddam.
Most of the nearly 20 attacks Tuesday targeted Shiite areas in Baghdad. In addition to those killed, more than 200 were wounded, officials said, demonstrating how dangerously divided Iraq remains more than a year after U.S. troops withdrew.