Saturday's attacks targeted mostly cafes and busy marketplaces. They were the latest in a wave of bloodshed that has swept Iraq since April, killing more than 3,000 people and worsening the already strained ties between Iraq's Sunni minority and the Shiite-led government.
    
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as Iraq's Al-Qaida affiliate is known to have said in a statement on the Internet on Sunday that the bombings were in retaliation for the arrests of hundreds of Muslims by Iraqi security forces.
    
The authenticity of the statement could not be independently confirmed but it appeared on a website commonly used by militants.

(Agencies)

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