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Al Qaeda claims Eid al-Fitr bomb attacks across Iraq

Nearly a dozen bomb attacks targeted mainly Shias in markets, cafes and restaurants killed more than 60 people around Baghdad.

fitr bombings iraqEnlarge
Iraqis enjoy an attraction at a theme park during the Eid al-Fitr holiday on August 10, 2013 in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. (Ali Al-Saadi/AFP/Getty Images)

An Al Qaeda affiliate has claimed responsibility for attacks that killed scores of people across Iraq on Saturday during the Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of Ramadan.

Nearly a dozen bomb attacks targeted mainly Shias in markets, cafes and restaurants and killed more than 50 people around Baghdad.

Another bomb north of the capital killed 10 people. In the Shia city of Karbala, four others died in a car bomb.

The estimated numbers of dead Saturday ranged between 60 and 70.

In a statement posted on Islamist internet forums, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has ties to Al Qaeda, said it had carried out the attacks in response to a government campaign to arrest suspected militants, the SITE monitoring group reported Monday.

"They will pay a high price for what they did, and they will not be secure day or night during Eid or other times, so they should watch their footsteps and stop the detention campaigns and cease harming the Sunni clans," ISIL said, according to SITE's translation.

Ramadan this year was the deadliest since 2007 with over 670 people dead, mainly from suicide bombings and car bombs.

Recent months have seen massive violence across Iraq with thousands of innocent people dead from attacks.

Most of the bombing in the last few months has been Sunni Islamist militant groups targeting Shia Muslims.

Saturday's attacks occured within the same hour, signaling a coordinated attack despite police efforts to beef up security during the holiday festival.

The bombings are a troubling reminder of Iraq's renewed descent into civil and sectarian conflict since US forces withdrew.

More from GlobalPost: Q&A: What's behind the spike of violence in Iraq?

Reuters contributed to this report.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iraq/130810/eid-al-fitr-iraq-sees-scores-killed-bomb-attacks