BAGHDAD, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's al-Qaida front on Friday claimed responsibility in an online statement for series of massive bombings in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and other areas that killed and wounded hundreds of people.
A series of bombings and shootings, mainly in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, recently left hundreds of people killed and wounded, including over 150 people in the last 10 days, in the latest escalation of months-long violence in the country.
The statement said that the attacks targeted government headquarters, security and military centers and Shiite strongholds along with the "traitors of the Sunnis" who cooperate with the government.
It said the attacks came at the time the Iraqi security forces are intensifying security measures in Baghdad and carrying out a major offensive in the Sunni areas around Baghdad to stop the on- going insurgent attacks.
The statement added the attacks were "in response to the latest crime of executing a group of Sunni Muslims in Iraq," referring to the execution of 17 convicted prisoners about 10 days ago by the Iraqi government.
"What you got is only a message which will be followed by others. We will avenge the blood of our brothers," said the statement.
On Aug. 19, the Iraqi Ministry of Justice announced it had executed 17 convicted prisoners, including an Egyptian and two Iraqi women, over terror charges and criminal acts.
Iraq is witnessing its worst eruption of violence in five years, which raised fears that the country is slipping back to the full- blown civil conflict that peaked in 2006 and 2007, when monthly death toll sometimes exceeded 3,000.
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