Al-Qaida claims responsibility for July 18 Iraq bombings

BAGHDAD  — Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings that took place on July 18 against its former insurgent allies that killed almost 50 people and said in an Internet statement posted Friday that it hoped the attacks would inspire others to "martyrdom."
In its Internet statement, al-Qaida said the bombings a week ago were part of a series of attacks against its turncoat allies — former Sunni insurgents who are now members of pro-government militias known as Awakening Councils.
It described its targets as "leaders of apostasy and the hypocritical Awakening." One of the attacks, it said, targeted the Sunni fighters as they "rushed to get the crumbs for which they have sold their religion."
The fighters were waiting at a Baghdad military checkpoint to collect their government paychecks when the bomber struck, killing 40. Al-Qaida put the number of dead and wounded at 120.