Al Qaeda's Iraqi faction has claimed responsibility for a wave of car bombings in Baghdad on Monday that killed 55 people .
In a statement posted late Monday , hours after the bombings that ripped through several Shiite areas of the Iraqi capital, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant said the attacks were in retaliation to the “arrests, torturing and targeting of Sunnis” by the Shiite-led government, according to the Associated Press.
Monday’s coordinated wave of bombings  were the latest in the months-long surge of violence in Iraq that has killed over 4,500 people since April 2013, according to an AP tally.
The violence in Iraq is at its highest level since 2007.
The authenticity of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant statement could not be immediately verified, but was posted on a website often used by jihadists and its style was consistent with previous Al Qaeda statements, AP reported.