BAGHDAD, (AP) – Al-Qaida in Iraq has claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings targeting their former allies that killed almost 50 people.
In an Internet statement posted Friday, al-Qaida said the July 18 attacks in Baghdad and western Iraq were aimed at the “leaders of apostasy and the hypocritical Awakening.” The former insurgent allies who beginning in 2006 turned against al-Qaida to support U.S. troops are members of groups known as Awakening Councils.
In the deadliest attack, al-Qaida said one of its “lions” was able to set off his explosives as Awakening fighters were collecting pay in Baghdad.
It said 120 were killed or injured. The official toll was 45 dead and 40 injured.
The other attack killed three Sunni fighters in western Iraq.