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Al-Qaida splinter group claims Iraq capital attack

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May 16, 2014 07:05 AM EST | AP


BAGHDAD (AP) — An Al-Qaida splinter group has claimed responsibility for bombings in Baghdad that killed at least 19 people a day earlier.

In a statement posted on a militant website Friday, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant said the attacks were in retaliation to the military operations by government forces on the city of Fallujah. That city has been in the hands of Sunni insurgents since last December.

Thursday's violence included bombings near several government offices and an outdoor market in Baghdad.

The authenticity of the statement could not be independently verified, but its style was consistent with previous statements.

Iraq has seen a spike in violence since April 2013, with the death toll climbing to its highest levels since the worst of the country's sectarian bloodletting in 2006-2008.