BAGHDAD — The Iraqi branch of al-Qaida claimed responsibility Friday for bombings earlier this week that killed at least 82 people, mostly in Shiite areas of the capital, calling them retaliation for the execution of Sunni prisoners by the Shiite-led government.
Wednesday's attacks involved car bombs and other explosives that mainly targeted parking lots, outdoor markets and restaurants in Shiite districts in Baghdad during the morning rush hour. Some Sunni areas were also hit later in the day.
A statement posted on a militant website by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the al-Qaida affiliate in Iraq, took responsibility for the deadly attacks. The group claimed the attacks were a response to the Aug. 19 execution of 17 Sunni prisoners, all but one of them convicted on terrorism-related charges.
The authenticity of the statement could not be independently confirmed. It was posted on a website commonly used by jihadists and its style was consistent with earlier al-Qaida statements.