Al-Qaeda’s front group in Iraq claimed responsibility for a wave of bombings that killed 50 people Tuesday in the deadliest violence in two months ahead of a landmark Arab summit next week.
The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) declared in a statement dated March 20 and posted on the jihadist forum Honein that it was behind the attacks against several “official posts and security and military posts” in the country.
“The lions (jihadists) of Al-Sunna... of the Islamic State of Iraq simultaneously attacked the authorities’ security plans... for the meeting of Arab tyrants in Baghdad,” said the statement.
These attacks “destroyed the plans of the head of Iraqi security chiefs in the space of a few hours,” it added.
A wave of nationwide gun and bomb attacks killed 50 people and left 255 others wounded Tuesday, the anniversary of the start of the US-led invasion of Iraq.
The violence rocked 20 towns and cities spanning the northern oil hub of Kirkuk and the Shiite shrine city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, from 7:00 am (0400 GMT), and continued through the day.
The spate of attacks bore the hallmarks of Qaeda, which typically tries to launch coordinated nationwide mass-casualty bombing campaigns.