BAGHDAD, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Al-Qaida militant group in Iraq on Monday claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bomb and gunfire attacks across Iraq on Sunday which killed and wounded hundreds of Iraqis.
The self-styled Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), al-Qaida front in the country, confirmed in a statement posted on an Islamic website that its fighters "carried out a new wave of attacks targeted the criminal government and centers of its security, militias and followers."
It said the attacks came in response to the "campaign organized extermination and torture of Sunni Muslim detainees in the prisons of the Safavid government," referring to the Iranian dynasty (1499- 1736) that established Shiite Islam in Iran as an official state religion and frequently fought the Islamic Sunni world.
The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately verified.
On Sunday, a series of bomb and gunfire attacks across the country during the daylight hours and at night killed a total of 85 people and wounded more than 370 others, in what appeared to be an attempt by insurgent groups to destabilize the country and undermine confidence in the Iraqi government.
Such deadly attacks apparently are seen as an attempt by the insurgent groups to stir up sectarian strife among Iraqis to push the country to the brink of civil war, amid persistent political divisions that have already paralyzed the country's government.