Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Saturday warned of an imminent fight against Al-Qaeda, a day after two mentally impaired women bombers killed 99 people in two markets in the Iraqi capital. The Iraqi leader was speaking after a meeting in Mosul, which was attended by military and political leaders, the premier's office said.
"It is time to launch a decisive battle against terrorism," Maliki said, according to a statement, cited by AFP. "The battle that our armed forces will launch will destroy terrorism and the criminal gangs and outlaws in Nineveh."
Maliki urged all Iraqis to support the security forces "so we can get rid of terrorism and the remnants of the former (Saddam Hussein) regime who use Nineveh because of its geographical location as a base for criminal actions against the people."
In a statement earlier on Saturday, the prime minister said "I swear on the blood (of the victims), we will achieve all our goals in securing a stable Iraq. Our forces will continue to ... crush the terrorists and target their strongholds."