Baghdad: Al Qaeda`s affiliate in Iraq has claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb attack against police officers and cadets that killed 19 people in Baghdad on February 19, a group that monitors online communication among insurgents said.
The car exploded as it careered into a crowd of cadets who had just been escorted out of a police academy in central Baghdad and were standing in the street.
The US-based SITE Intelligence Group said the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), an umbrella group for al Qaeda-linked Sunni insurgents, claimed responsibility for the incident in a statement posted on Islamist websites on Friday.
"The lion of Islam Sheikh Abu Ghassan al-Ansari penetrated the gates of the academy with his explosives-laden vehicle ... and detonated his vehicle," ISI was quoted by SITE as saying.
SITE said the group also listed 29 operations carried out around Baghdad between February 13-29, which targeted Iraqi forces and officials.
ISI said on Thursday it was behind attacks in western Iraq on March 05 that killed 27 members of the security forces.
Bombings and killings occur daily in Iraq, which is still plagued by a lethal Sunni insurgency and Shi`ite militias, although overall violence has decreased since the height of sectarian fighting in 2006-07.