A militant group linked to al Qaeda claimed responsibility for a recent wave of bombings across Iraq that has left at least 46 people dead and hundreds wounded.
The militant organization, calling itself “The Islamic State of Iraq,” said the attacks were designed to expose the weakness and incompetence of the current Iraqi government, ahead of a scheduled Arab League meeting in Baghdad next week.
Death is approaching you, when you least expect it, the Islamic State of Iraq said in a website.
By destabilizing Iraq, the militant organization is seeking to derail Baghdad’s contention that Iraq is moving towards “normalcy” after almost a decade of war. The Shia Muslim-led government, however, has vowed it'll still hold the summit in spite of continuing threats from Sunni Muslim militants.
Such cowardly acts will not deter the national government and the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the success of the Arab summit in Baghdad to receive the guests and leaders who are invited, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in a statement.
We condemn this terrorist act and those politically frustrated terrorists who did it.”
The bombing campaign, which struck eight cities in Iraq, appeared to be coordinated and targeted Shia Muslims, government figures and police officials. The attackers were even able to get near the foreign ministry in Baghdad, demonstrating how easily they can violate the tight security in the capital.
The intention of these attacks is to destabilize the security situation in Karbala and other Iraqi cities and to shake the people's confidence in the government, Hussein Shadhan al Aboudi, a provincial council member in the city of Karbala, where a bomb attack was launched against Shia pilgrims, told the Associated Press. It seems that the terrorists want to abort the upcoming Arab Summit in Baghdad. The message is directed to the Arab leaders that Iraq is not safe enough to be visited.
The Arab League canceled a meeting in Baghdad last year due to security fears. It isn't clear if the League will again postpone the meeting; Nabil Elaraby, the Arab League chief, condemned the recent attacks and asked Iraqi officials to deal with these crimes.