Iraq violence kills 8 as al Qaeda claims attacks
Baghdad: Violence in Iraq killed eight people on Tuesday, among them seven police, officials said, as an al Qaeda front group claimed a wave of attacks that killed dozens the day before.
The country is witnessing its worst violence since 2008, when it was emerging from a bloody sectarian conflict.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday that Iraq is "on the brink," and the Interior Ministry warned of civil war.
On Tuesday, gunmen killed three police and wounded two in an attack on a checkpoint south of Baghdad, while bombings in Kirkuk province, north of the capital, killed a policeman and a civilian, and wounded four people.
And gunmen killed three more policemen in the northern city of Mosul.
Security forces are frequently targeted by militants opposed to the government.
The attacks came as al Qaeda front group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed a wave of attacks that killed some 60 people the day before.
"Security and military detachments of the state of Baghdad and the south yesterday... Simultaneously hit targets that were surveyed and chosen specifically," a statement posted on jihadist forums said.
The statement said the violence, which struck the capital and areas to its south, was the beginning of a new campaign dubbed "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, called "Breaking the Walls".
At least 53 people were killed in the attacks, and more than 500 inmates, among them senior al Qaeda members, managed to escape.
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