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Al-Qaida Affiliate Claims Baghdad Blasts

People inspect their destroyed cars at the scene of a car bomb attack in Ameen neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, Iraq, February 17, 2013.
Al-Qaida's Iraqi wing has claimed responsibility for a series of car bomb blasts in the capital that killed at least 28 people and wounded around 100 others in predominantly Shi'ite districts.

The al-Qaida affiliate, Islamic State of Iraq, said Monday it carried out the attacks in Baghdad to take revenge for perceived state repression of Sunni Muslims.

The attacks on Sunday struck outdoor markets in and around the capital.

The Shi'ite district of Sadr City was one of the worst hit, with three car bombings.

Other targeted districts include Ameen, Habibiya, Husseiniya, Kamiliya and Karrada. Authorities managed to defuse at least one of the planted explosives.

So far this month, attacks in Iraq have killed at least 100 people, including the head of Iraq's military intelligence academy. Brigadier General Ali Aouni and two of his bodyguards were killed Saturday in a suicide bombing in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar.

The wave of violence coincides with a political crisis that has seen the Iraqi government plagued by infighting among sectarian factions and pressured by almost two months of protests in mostly Sunni regions. Many Sunnis accuse Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of marginalizing and discriminating against their community.