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BAGHDAD — Insurgents in Iraq deployed a series of car bombs as part of highly coordinated attacks that cut across a wide swath of the country Monday, killing at least 55 on the deadliest day in nearly a month.
The assault bore the hallmarks of a resurgent Al Qaeda in Iraq and appeared aimed at sowing fear days before the first elections since US troops withdrew. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but coordinated attacks are a favorite tactic of Al Qaeda’s Iraq branch.
Iraqi officials believe the insurgent group is growing stronger and increasingly coordinating with allies fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad across the border. They say rising lawlessness on the Syria-Iraq frontier and cross-border cooperation with a Syrian group, the Nusra Front, has improved the militants’ supply of weapons and foreign fighters.
More than 25 bombings across Iraq left at least 61 people dead on Monday, adding uncertainty and instability ahead of the first elections since U.S. troops left the country in December 2011.
No one claimed responsibility for the attacks, which wounded at least 274, but the barrage of mostly car bombings focused on Shia areas, raising suspicions that the increasingly powerful Islamic State of Iraq, the country's al Qaeda franchise, planned the attacks to further inflame sectarian tensions before provincial elections on Saturday.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq has executed 21 prisoners convicted on terrorism charges and links to al-Qaida, the Justice Ministry said Wednesday, setting off fresh criticism from a human rights expert over Baghdad's insistence on enforcing capital punishment.
The prisoners were executed by hanging in the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, according to a statement posted on the ministry's website. All the convicts were Iraqi al-Qaida operatives who were involved in bombings, car bomb attacks and assassinations, the statement said.
The hangings brought the number of prisoners executed in Iraq so far this year to 50, according to Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim. The latest group was the biggest this year, Ibrahim added.
Originally posted by muse7
And the George Bush legacy continues......