BAGHDAD — Al-Qaida's front group in Iraq claimed responsibility Friday for two Baghdad bombings last week that killed at least 31 people at a government security agency and what it called an "evil" mobile phone provider.
The Islamic State of Iraq said in a statement that it targeted the National Security Ministry and an AsiaCell store last Sunday because they are an inseparable part of the Shiite-led government's crackdown on insurgents.
"Our squads targeted two dens of evil used as spying places by Iraqi security services," the group said in a statement posted on a website used by militants.
The statement said insurgents also bombed "the evil AsiaCell office in the Mansour area" in west Baghdad, describing the store as "part of the security system that is used by the crusaders' government to chase the mujahedeen (holy warriors) and spy on them."
The Islamic State of Iraq includes al-Qaida in Iraq and other allied Sunni insurgent factions.
An Iraqi security official said the government has arrested at least one suspect in the Sept. 19 bombings that came only minutes apart. Most of the victims were civilians.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.