BAGHDAD, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The leader of al-Qaida in Iraq network threatened to attack the country's parliamentary elections slated for March 7, an al-Qaida statement said on Islamic website on Saturday.
"We decided to prevent the elections by all possible and legitimate means, primarily, the military means," Abu Omar al- Baghdadi, the leader of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) , said in his statement posted on the internet.
Baghdad also warned the Iraqi Sunni community of taking part in the elections that he described as "comedy and dangerous play" which plotted by the Shiite and their American allies, the statement said.
The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately verified.
The statement came as Iraq officially launched campaign for its elections on Friday, while hundreds of pictures and posters of candidates were seen posted on streets in Baghdad and major cities in the country. The campaign is expected to last until March 6.
Iraq is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on March 7, with around 19 million eligible people, including 1.4 million living abroad in 16 countries, will take part in the elections to elect 325 lawmakers out of over 6000 candidates for the upcoming parliament.