Attacks Kill 50 Across Iraq

Posted July 23rd, 2012 at 5:00 am (UTC-5)
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Iraqi officials say a wave of bombings and shootings has killed at least 50 people and wounded 112 others on one of the bloodiest days in Iraq this year.

Authorities said the attacks Monday included gunmen killing at least seven Iraqi soldiers at a military base in northeastern Iraq as well as a series of explosions in the northern city of Kirkuk. A car bomb also exploded in Baghdad, while other deadly attacks targeted Taji, just north of the capital.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The violence comes after jihadist websites posted a message Saturday, purportedly from the leader of al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq, saying the group is starting a “new phase.” The audio message from a speaker identified as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi says the Islamic State of Iraq is planning to attack court officials, and to free prisoners.

In June, the group claimed responsibility for a wave of car bombings that killed 72 people and wounded nearly 260 others.