With most part of the world condemning terrorist acts against children al-Qaida in Iraq denies responsibility for the attack that killed 18 children and teenagers in a poor east Baghdad neighborhood. The authenticity of the statement on an Islamic web site couldn't be verified, says the AP, but it suggests the militant group is aware of the possible backlash such an attack would have on its support base, which considers the insurgent groups who launch scores of deadly attacks in Iraq as resistance movements fighting a military occupation.
"We, al-Qaida organization in Iraq, announce that we are not in the least responsible for the New Baghdad operation that took place Wednesday," said a statement posted and signed by Abu Maysara al-Iraqi, al-Qaida spokesman.
"Our sheik, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ... is very keen not to attack the rank and file and he himself is the one who directly supervises, plans and direct all the operations," the statement said.
On Wednesday a blast at a poor east Baghdad neighborhood killed 18 children and teenagers who had swarmed around a U.S. Humvee to get candy and toys. At least 70 people were injured, including a newborn baby and three U.S. soldiers.
Two suicide bombers struck near the Green Zone in central Baghdad on Thursday, killing one person and injuring at least nine people.