Al-Qaeda front organization the Islamic State of Iraq posted a claim on the Internet Monday for a wave of more than 30 attacks around the country that killed more than 88 people.
The bombings and shootings were in response to the “campaign of extermination and torture of Sunni Muslim detainees in Safavid prisons,” the statement said in a pejorative reference to the Shiite-led government implying that it was under the domination of formerly Safavid-ruled neighboring Iran.
The wave of attacks across Iraq killed 88 people and wounded more than 400 on Saturday and Sunday, security and medical sources said, with the security forces and markets among the targets.
The latest violence brings the number of people killed already this month to 118, according to an AFP tally.
While insurgents opposed to the Baghdad government are regarded as weaker than in past years, they are still capable of launching periodic mass-casualty attacks across the country.
The latest assaults came as Iraq’s Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a leading Sunni, was sentenced in absentia on Sunday to hang for murder, although the carnage began hours before the sentence was handed down.