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Islamic State claims deadly Baghdad bomb attacks

The Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility Sunday for the deadliest spate of bombings to strike the Iraqi capital in weeks, saying a “Baghdad cell” helped carry out the attacks.

Seven different explosions in six mainly Shiite districts of Baghdad killed at least 24 people on Saturday, with IS claiming four of the blasts — two suicide attacks and two car bombs.

The group, which last month proclaimed a “caliphate” straddling Syria and Iraq, said the two suicide bombers were a German and a Syrian, and said they targeted checkpoints manned by soldiers, police and allied Shiite militiamen.

“Two knights of the knights of Islam and heroes of the caliphate were launched, Abu Qaqa al-Almani and Abu Abdulrahman al-Shami, to destroy checkpoints and dens of the … government,” it said in an unverified statement posted online.

The Sunni extremist group, which controls large parts of north and western Iraq since a June 9 offensive, carries out frequent attacks in Baghdad.

Saturday’s near-simultaneous attacks were carried out “in coordination with a Baghdad cell”, the group said.

Two suicide attacks were launched in the Abu Dsheer and Kadhimiyah districts, and two cars stuffed with explosives were triggered in Al-Sayidiyeh and Al-Baya districts, it said.

IS claimed a toll of more than 150 dead and wounded, without giving a breakdown.

Police and medical sources told AFP on Saturday that at least 24 were killed and 75 wounded in the Baghdad explosions.

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