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Al-Qaida Claims Responsibility for Deadly Iraq Attacks


Private security personnel stand guard at the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad June 6, 2011

Private security personnel stand guard at the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad June 6, 2011

An al-Qaida group has claimed responsibility for recent bombings in the Iraqi city of Tikrit that left at least 34 people dead.

The militant group posted a statement on a jihadist website on Wednesday saying it was behind two bombings in the city north of Baghdad on Friday and a third attack on Monday.

Iraqi officials said at least 21 people were killed in apparently coordinated bombings on Friday. Most of the victims were worshippers who were coming out of a Sunni mosque when a bomb exploded. Several hours later, a suicide bomber detonated explosives at Tikrit's main hospital, where many of the victims of the first blast had been taken.

On Monday, a suicide bomber detonated a car outside a government compound in Tikrit, killing at least 13 people including an Iraqi army colonel.

Five U.S. servicemen were killed later in the day in a Baghdad attack but the al-Qaida statement did not mention the incident.

The attacks have come as the U.S. winds down its military presence in Iraq, with a goal of withdrawing by the end of the year.

In April, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Baghdad did not need help maintaining internal security but might need help with external security. However, Iraq has not formally asked the U.S. to extend its mission.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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