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Al Qaeda front group claims Iraq attacks


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Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. – File Photo by AP.

BAGHDAD: Al-Qaeda's front group in Iraq has claimed responsibility for a spate of attacks last month, including dozens on June 13, when violence across the country killed 72 people.

The Islamic State of Iraq, in a statement posted on jihadist Internet forums, said it carried out 47 attacks over several months, including 27 on June 13, which was the country’s deadliest day since August 2011.

The statement on the Honein forum detailed a long list of car bombs, roadside bombs and targeted assassinations against what the ISI said were “Safavid” soldiers, police and civilians.

Sunni insurgents often invoke Iran’s Safavid past, referring to the Shiite dynasty that ruled Persia between the 16th and 18th centuries and conquered part of Iraq, when denouncing the Baghdad government, which they say is controlled by Iran.

June saw a marked uptick in unrest in Iraq, with 282 people dying as a result of violence last month, according to an AFP tally. Government figures, however, said just 131 people were killed.

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