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— File Photo by AP

BAGHDAD: Al Qaeda's front group in Iraq claimed it carried out a series of attacks, mostly on security forces, in the western province of Anbar in June and July, a statement posted on jihadist forums said.

The 43 attacks purportedly carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) were largely in the form of bombings and shootings against Iraqi soldiers, police and anti-Qaeda militiamen known as the Sahwa, according to the statement, which was posted on Wednesday.

It comes after ISI declared a campaign last month to retake territory it had abandoned in the years since the peak of Iraq's sectarian bloodshed between 2006 and 2008.

Al Qaeda in Iraq is regarded by Iraqi officials as significantly weaker than at the peak of its strength in 2006 and 2007, but it is still capable of spectacular mass-casualty attacks across the country.

The group claimed a wave of attacks on July 23 that killed 113 people nationwide, the deadliest violence to hit Iraq in more than two and a half years.


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