Middle East Online BAGHDAD:
Al-Qaeda front group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,
claimed on Tuesday a wave of attacks that killed some 60 people
the day before.
"Security and military detachments of the state of Baghdad and
the south on Monday... simultaneously hit targets that were
surveyed and chosen specifically," a statement posted on
jihadist forums said.
The statement said the violence, which struck the capital and
areas to its south, was the beginning of a new campaign dubbed
"Harvesting the Soldiers".
The Al-Qaeda front group said last week that
brazen assaults on two Iraqi prisons marked the end of its
previous campaign, called "Breaking the Walls".
At least 53 people were killed in the attacks,
and more than 500 inmates, among them senior Al-Qaeda members,
managed to escape.
country is witnessing its worst violence since 2008, when it was
emerging from a bloody sectarian conflict.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday
that Iraq is "on the brink," and the interior ministry warned of
gunmen killed three police and wounded two in an attack on a
checkpoint south of Baghdad, while bombings in Kirkuk province,
north of the capital, killed a policeman and a civilian, and
wounded four people.
And gunmen killed three more policemen in the northern city of
are frequently targeted by militants opposed to the government.
"Iraq is at another crossroads," UN chief Ban was
quoted as saying in a statement released by a spokesman on
leaders have a clear responsibility to bring the country back
from the brink, and to leave no space to those who seek to
exploit the political stalemate through violence and terror."
Baghdad's interior ministry said in a statement
Iraq is facing "open war waged by the forces of bloody
sectarianism aiming to plunge the country into chaos and
reproduce civil war."
Iraq was racked by a bloody Sunni-Shiite sectarian conflict that
peaked in 2006-2007, when thousands of people were killed
because of their religious affiliation or forced to abandon
their homes under threat of death.
With the latest violence, more than 820 people
have been killed so far this month, and over 3,000 since the
beginning of the year, according to figures based on security
and medical sources.