Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for two truck bombs that hit government ministries in Baghdad last week, killing more than 100 people and wounding 500 others.

A statement published on an al-Qaida-linked Web site claimed bombers had targeted the  Finance, Defense and Foreign ministries in central Baghdad.

The Iraqi government has linked the blasts to Baathist sympathizers located in Syria. On Tuesday, officials recalled the Iraqi ambassador to Damascus, and ordered Syrian officials to hand over two men wanted in connection with the attacks. Syria responded by recalling its ambassador and demanding Iraqi authorities provide evidence to back up their allegations.

The blasts were the deadliest attacks since U.S. forces withdrew from urban areas in late June. They also came as workers were preparing to begin removing concrete security barriers that protect government buildings in the capital. The barrier removal program has now been postponed.

On Monday, in the southern city of Kut, bombs exploded on two buses, killing at least 11 people and wounding 10 others.
The increased attacks have brought new scrutiny to the Iraqi government's ability to ensure security.

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