Qaeda front group claims attacks that killed dozens

Al-Qaeda front group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed on Tuesday a wave of attacks that killed dozens of people a day earlier.

"Security and military detachments of the state of Baghdad and the south on Monday... simultaneously hit targets that were surveyed and chosen specifically," a statement posted on jihadist forums said.

The statement said the violence, which struck the Iraqi capital and areas to its south and killed about 60 people, was the beginning of a new campaign entitled "Harvesting the Soldiers."

The Al-Qaeda front group said last week that brazen assaults on two Iraqi prisons marked the end of its previous campaign, named "Breaking the Walls."

At least 53 people were killed in the unrest, while more than 500 inmates, among them senior Al-Qaeda members, managed to escape.

The prison assaults highlighted both the growing reach of militants in Iraq, and the rapidly worsening security situation in the country.

Violence has killed more than 800 people so far this month and more than 3,000 since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.