Two suicide-bombers have killed more than 40 people in separate attacks in Iraq.  The attacks accompanied an announcement that security forces have captured the head of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Day of carnage

It was a day of carnage in Iraq after two suicide bombers caused scores of casualties.  Baghdad security chief General Qassim Moussawi said the suicide bombings bore the hallmark of al-Qaida.

He says in one attack a terrorist, blew himself up as security forces were handing out humanitarian assistance to families affected by violence in the Riyadh district of Baghdad.   He says the dead include men from the security forces.

A second suicide-bomber attacked a restaurant frequented by Iranian Shi'ite pilgrims, 80 kilometers north of Baghdad.

Terrorist captured

The bombings coincided with an Iraqi security forces statement saying al-Qaida in Iraq chief Abu Omar al Baghdadi had been captured.  General Moussawi made the announcement on al-Iraqia TV.

He says after a heroic operation, Iraqi security forces succeeded, at noon, Thursday, to capture the terrorist Abu Omar al Baghdadi, who calls himself the Emir of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq.

Violence across Iraq had decreased markedly in recent months.  But terrorist attacks have spiked since Iraqi provincial elections in January.  Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was a big victor in those elections, and some Sunni opposition politicians claimed the results were tampered with.

A number of analysts say violence is likely to increase in the coming months due to political posturing by rival groups before Iraq's national elections at year's end.