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Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for Iraq attacks

Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for Iraq attacks

An al-Qaeda affiliated group in Iraq has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings that killed dozens of people across Baghdad Province.

In a statement released late on Monday, the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, took responsibility for the bombings which “simultaneously hit selected targets.”

On Monday, at least 55 people were killed and over a hundred injured in a series of car bomb explosions across the Baghdad Province.

Iraqi security and medical officials said the Monday blasts mainly struck Shia-majority areas of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The deadliest attack occurred in the Sadr City area of north Baghdad, where a car bomb tore through a small vegetable market and its parking lot, claiming the lives of at least a dozen people, including two soldiers.

The Sadr attack was followed by a total of 10 car bombs at outdoor markets or parking lots in the Shia neighborhoods of New Baghdad, Habibiya, Sabaa al-Bour, Kazimiyah, Shaab, Ur, Shula as well as the Sunni neighborhoods of Jamiaa and Ghazaliyah.

The bombings came a day after a bomber attacked mourners at a mosque south of Baghdad, killing at least 27 people.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq is a shadowy group that was once allegedly led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was reportedly killed in June 2006.

According to US government and military officials, the group was then led by Ayyub al-Masri, who was killed along with Abu Omar al-Baghdadi — another leader of the group — in a joint Iraqi-US operation in Salahuddin province in April 2010.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq has been blamed for some of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the country since the US-led invasion in March 2003.

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