Al-Qaida's branch in Iraq says it carried out a wave of bombings that killed 58 people, mostly in Shiite areas across the country, to support "oppressed Sunnis."

Al-Qaida’s branch in Iraq says it carried out a wave of bombings that killed 58 people, mostly in Shiite areas across the country, to support “oppressed Sunnis.”

In a statement posted late Monday, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the al-Qaida affiliate in Iraq, took responsibility for the attacks earlier that day, mainly car bombs targeting marketplaces and parking lots.

The authenticity of the statement could not be independently confirmed. It was posted on a website commonly used by jihadists and its style was consistent with earlier al-Qaida statements.

The bombings were the latest episode in a wave of bloodshed that has swept Iraq since April, killing more than 3,000 people and worsening the already strained ties between Iraq’s Sunni minority and the Shiite-led government.

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