The Iraqi branch of Salafi-Wahabi al-Qaeda terrorists group claimed responsibility Friday for bombings earlier this week that killed at least 82 people, mostly in Shiite areas of the capital, calling them retaliation for the execution of Al-Qaeda terrorists prisoners by the Shiite-led government.
Wednesdayâ€™s attacks involved car bombs and other explosives that mainly targeted parking lots, outdoor markets and restaurants in Shiite districts in Baghdad during the morning rush hour. Sunni dominated areas were also hit by the Al-Qaeda terrorists to ignite secterian violence.
A statement posted on a militant website by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, took responsibility for the deadly attacks. The group claimed the attacks were a response to the Aug. 19 execution of 17 terrorists of American and Saudi funded Al-Qaeda prisoners, all but one of them convicted on terrorism-related charges.
The authenticity of the statement could not be independently confirmed. It was posted on a website commonly used by jihadists and its style was consistent with earlier al-Qaida statements.
It said tight security measures imposed by Iraqi forces failed to stop the attacks, and the group vowed to carry out more attacks against government targets.
â€œWe will avenge the blood of our brothers,â€ the group said.
The bombings were the latest in a wave of bloodshed that has swept Iraq since April, killing more than 4,000 people and worsening already strained ties between Iraq’s Sunni minority and the Shiite-led government. More than 570 people have been killed so far in August.
Iraq has executed 67 terrorists of Wahabi Al-Qaeda so far this year, mainly for terrorism-related charges. It put more people to death last year than any country except for China and Iran.