Al-Qaeda claims dozens of Baghdad attacks
Baghdad - Al-Qaeda's front group in Iraq claimed dozens of attacks in Baghdad this year, including a suicide bomb at a funeral and the assassination of the head of a women's prison, in a statement seen on Tuesday.
In a post on jihadist forum Honein, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) listed 43 incidents it was responsible for between January 10 and February 10 in the Iraqi capital.
The deadliest attack was a January 27 suicide car bomb against a funeral procession outside a hospital in a predominantly Shi'ite neighbourhood in east Baghdad that killed 31 people.
"Most of the victims in the funeral were close to the Safavid chief," said the Honein posting, dated March 4, referring to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
The funeral was for Baghdad real estate agent Mohammed al-Maliki, but no reports have indicated he was related to the premier.
Sunni insurgents often invoke Iran's Safavid past, referring to the Shi'ite dynasty that ruled Persia between the 16th and 18th centuries and conquered part of Iraq, when denouncing the Baghdad government, which they say is controlled by Iran.
Wave of violence
ISI also claimed a February 1 bomb attack that targeted the convoy of Iraqi MP Qais al-Shadhr, whom the insurgent group denounced as an "apostate". Shadhr was unharmed in the attack, which wounded five civilians.
The insurgent group added that it was behind the February 7 assassination of Sajida Saleh Hassan, the director of a women's prison in Kadhimiyah, north Baghdad.
ISI said Hassan was an "apostate" and "one of the filthy arms of the Safavid justice ministry".
On February 24, al-Qaeda's front group said it carried out a wave of bombings and shootings across Iraq that killed 42 people a day earlier.
Violence across the country is down from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common. A total of 150 Iraqis were killed in February, according to official figures.