Iraqi PM vows to 'hunt down' militants responsible for Eid violence
Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki promised on Wednesday to hunt down the militants responsible for the Al Qaeda linked bombings that targeted Shiite areas over the Eid Al Fitr weekend.
A wave of coordinated attacks, largely targeting Shiite-majority areas, killed dozens of people over the weekend when Muslims were celebrating the end of Ramadan, Reuters reported.
Iraq is currently witnessing its worst wave of bloodshed for five years, according to Reuters.
More than 60 people are believed to have died over the Eid Al Fitr weekend, according to AFP.
Merged Syrian and Iraqi factions of Sunni militant group Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the bombings, and said they were in response to a security crackdown initated by Iraqi government forces in Baghdad.
"The operations we have started - to go after the terrorist gangs and those who stand behind them - will continue unabated," Maliki said in a short speech broadcast on state television, according to Reuters.
"We won't stop until we protect our people from all the means used for killing, crime and terrorism," he added.
Al Qaeda in Iraq also claimed responsibility for a recent wave of mass breakouts from Iraqi jails last month.
Sectarian violence between Iraq's Sunni and Shiite populations have been antagonised by the ongoing sectarian conflict in neighbouring Syria. Iraq's minority Sunni population is dissastisfied with the Iraqi Shiite-led government, according to AFP analysts, and feel that the government has done little to ease their discontent.
The Baghdad-based security crackdown has resulted in the arrest of more than 800 suspects, the discovering of large amounts of weapons and explosives, Maliki said during his speech, according to Reuters.