Iraqi al-Qaida claims country-wide bombing attacks

BAGHDAD - Al Qaeda's affiliate in Iraq on Friday claimed responsibility for more than 20 bombings that hit cities and towns across the country the previous day, killing at least 36 and wounding almost 150.
In a statement posted on an Islamist website, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) group said it had carried out the attacks as a response to "the campaign of detentions, torture, siege and confiscation of lands in Sunni areas, especially (in) Baghdad and its outskirts."
Thursday's attacks targeted towns and cities across Iraq, highlighting the threat al-Qaida and other militant groups continue to pose to security forces after the withdrawal of US troops in mid-December.
ISI's statement threatened more attacks in "the coming days."
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