You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Al-Qaida claims attack wave, jailbreak in Iraq

Oct. 5, 2012 - 09:37AM   |   Last Updated: Oct. 5, 2012 - 09:37AM  |  
  • Filed Under

BAGHDAD Al-Qaida's branch in Iraq claimed responsibility on Friday for a stunning jailbreak last week that was followed by a wave of deadly attacks across the country that left 26 dead.

In a statement posted on a militant website, the Islamic State of Iraq said the attacks, mostly bombings using explosive-rigged parked cars, were launched against "carefully selected targets" in Baghdad and some other provinces.

The group, also called the Islamic State of Iraq, has said that both the freeing of its prisoners and the assassination of officials are top priorities, part of a general offensive intended to retake Sunni towns and districts that were once al-Qaida strongholds.

Last Sunday's coordinated blasts, stretching from the northern city of Kirkuk through Baghdad to Iraq's Shiite-dominated south, mostly targeted Shiite neighborhoods and Iraqi security forces. In all, at least 26 people died.

In Friday's statement, the al-Qaida-linked group said these attacks were in response to "atrocities committed by the Shiite government against the Sunni prisoners."

The militant group also claimed responsibility for a Sept. 27 prison break in Saddam Hussein's hometown, in which prisoners seized weapons and clashed with security forces in an hours-long standoff. Twelve people died and dozens of al-Qaida inmates escaped.

"The tight security measures did not prevent the fighters of the Islamic State from carrying out this operation with the maximum accuracy," the statement said.

Also on Friday, police said that a twin bombing in southeast Baghdad killed five people, including four Shiite worshippers. The blasts hit the al-Sadrein mosque and a nearby police checkpoint as prayers ended in the mostly Shiite neighborhood of Zafaraniyah.

They say at least 26 worshippers were wounded.

A medical official in a nearby hospital confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.

Violence has dropped in Iraq since the height of the insurgency a few years ago but militants still launch deadly attacks against security forces and Shiites in an attempt to undermine the Shiite-led government.

Earlier this summer, the Islamic State announced a campaign dubbed "Breaking the Walls" that aimed to restore its power in areas from which it was driven by the American military and Sunni fighters of the U.S.-allied Sahwa or Awakening movement after sectarian fighting peaked in 2007.

Al-Qaida in Iraq has for years had a hot-and-cold relationship with the global terror network's leadership. Both shared the goal of targeting the U.S. military in Iraq and, to an extent, undermining the Shiite government that replaced Saddam Hussein's regime. But al-Qaida leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri distanced themselves from the Iraqi militants in 2007 for having killed Iraqi civilians instead of focusing on Western targets.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Go mustang
LDO and warrant careers offer more authority, a pay hike and big retirement payout

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook