DUBAI, (Reuters) – An Iraqi militant group said it would not attack polling stations in Thursday”s landmark election in Iraq, but said that did not mean it supported the poll, according to an Internet statement posted on Tuesday.
"According to our long-standing instructions not to launch random attacks that kill innocents and criminals, we order our fighters not to target voting areas to avoid bloodshed," said the Islamic Army in Iraq.
"This does not mean that we back this so-called political process… Our jihad against the Americans and their followers continues," the group said in the statement.
Last week the group announced it had killed an American it was holding hostage, although his death has not been confirmed.
The latest statement”s authenticity could not be verified but it was posted on a Web site often used by militant groups.
On Monday several militant groups, including al Qaeda in Iraq, branded the poll "ungodly" and, in an Internet statement, vowed to pursue their battle to turn Iraq into an Islamic state.
The Islamic Army in Iraq has claimed several kidnappings and attacks on foreign and Iraqi forces. Its decision to spare polling stations contrasts with attacks it and other insurgent groups carried out during the Jan. 30 election.
Iraqis will vote for their first full-term parliament since the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. Suicide bombings and kidnappings have marred the run-up to the polls.