Al-Qaeda front group the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) said on Friday that it carried out a wave of attacks across the country that killed 38 people, in a statement on jihadist website Honein.
"A part of the security and military efforts of the Islamic State mobilised for a new wave and... another bloody Thursday on the heads of the apostates, and in simultaneous operations targeted the security and military, and government centres and leadership," it said.
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"We assure you that this invasion is the beginning of what is waiting for you in the next days, and one phase in a blessed series that has been launched, and will not stop until God judges between us" and the Shiites, the statement said.
The attacks, it said, were "in response to the waves of arrests and the siege and confiscation of lands in Sunni areas," specifically in and around Baghdad.
Dozens of bombings and shootings in seven different provinces killed 38 people and wounded more than 170 on Thursday, the deadliest day in Iraq since March 20, when 50 people were killed and 255 wounded in attacks also claimed by Al-Qaeda.