Iraqi al-Qaida branch claims responsibility for attacks on Sunni militia
An al-Qaida group in Iraq on Friday claimed responsibility for Sunday's two bombings targeting the Iraqi Sunni militia, which left a death toll of 47 people, Xinhua reported.
A statement from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq group posted on the Internet said that they were behind two suicide bombings which went off within hours in Baghdad and Anbar on July 18.
The deadliest attack took place in Sunday morning as a suicide bomber blew up his explosive vest among a crowd of Awakening Council members who lined up to collect their salaries at their base in the Balasim village at the al-Radwaniyah area.
The blast killed 43 and wounded some 40 others; most of them were Awakening Council members and several others were Iraqi army soldiers.
The statement said that another suicide bombing was carried out by one of its "lions" in the city of al-Qaim in the western province of Anbar, some 330 km west of Baghdad, killing four Awakening Council leaders who were holding a meeting at their headquarters in the city.
The statement said that the latest attacks were merely a part of new wave of revenge on the Awakening Council, and they hope more people will devote tomartyrdom.
The Awakening Council is a government-backed anti-Qaida paramilitary group who fought the al-Qaida network after the latter exercised indiscriminate killings against both Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities.