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Death toll rises to 88 in massive wave of attacks across Iraq

BAGHDAD--A wave of more than 30 attacks across Iraq killed 88 people and wounded more than 400 on Saturday and Sunday, security and medical sources said, with the security forces and markets among the targets.

The latest violence brings the number of people killed already this month to 118, according to an AFP tally.

While insurgents opposed to the Baghdad government are regarded as weaker than in past years, they are still capable of launching periodic mass-casualty attacks across the country.

Al-Qaida front organization the Islamic State of Iraq posted a claim on the Internet Monday for the wave of attacks.

The bombings and shootings were in response to the “campaign of extermination and torture of Sunni Muslim detainees in Safavid prisons,” the statement said in a pejorative reference to the Shiite-led government implying that it was under the domination of formerly Safavid-ruled neighboring Iran.

Iraq executed 26 convicts in August, many implicated in attacks claimed by al-Qaida.

“This message ... will be followed by another. Today will be a new black day,” the posting added.

In the deadliest attack, two car bombs exploded in a market on Sunday near the Imam Ali al-Sharqi shrine in southern Iraq, a security official said.

Dr. Ali al-Alaa, a Maysan province health department official, said the blasts killed 14 people and wounded 60.

Five car bombs exploded in predominantly Shiite areas of the Iraqi capital on Sunday night.

In north Baghdad, a car bomb killed at least 13 people and wounded at least 32, while another in Shuala killed at least five and wounded 22, another in Urr killed four and wounded 13, and a fourth in Hurriyah killed three and wounded 14, an interior ministry official and a medical source said.

In the west of the city, a car bomb targeted a market in the Washash area, killing at least seven people and wounding 21, the ministry official and a medical source said.

Before midnight on Saturday, gunmen assaulted an army checkpoint near Balad north of Baghdad and a roadside bomb exploded when additional soldiers arrived at the scene.

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Three-year-old Iraqi child Yousef Saad lies on a hospital bed following a bomb attack the previous night in Baghdad's mainly Shiite Shula district, Monday, Sept. 10.

(AFP)

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