Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility on Monday for several car bombs that killed 28 people in Shia areas of Baghdad on Sunday.
The group said the attacks were in response to the perceived repression of Sunni Muslims at the hands of Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government, Reuters reported.
“We say to the Sunnis in Baghdad and elsewhere: The situation in which you are living today is exactly what the mujahideen warned you of years ago. You are walking in a dark tunnel,” said a statement posted on an Islamist website.
Eight car bombs exploded near shops, markets and restaurants in mainly Shia neighborhoods of Baghdad on Sunday.
Insurgents have stepped up attacks amid nearly two months of protests and ahead of the country’s first nationwide vote since the formal end of the U.S. occupation.