Conflict & Justice

Iraq: Al-Qaeda Declares New Offensive as Sectarian Violence Kills More than 100


The aftermath of attacks in Iraq, including the highest death toll since American forces withdrew ( Photo: BBC video )

A staggering wave of coordinated bombings and attacks swept across 15 Iraqi cities on Monday, killing more than 100 people.

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq announced this weekend that the group was launching a new offensive. Correspondent Jane Arraf says the attacks demonstrate al-Qaeda's durability.

"The sheer scope of it was staggering," Arraf says. "This was really a wake-up call for a lot of people."

Arraf says many Iraqis fear a return to sectarian strife.

"After everything it took to drive back al-Qaeda, when the Sunni tribes aligned with American forces and fought against al-Qaeda …it could be slipping backwards again and they could be re-emerging."