At least 24 people were killed late Monday when a bomber blew himself in a crowded cafe north of Baghdad, state media reported.

“A suicide attacker detonated his vest of explosives inside a cafe in Balad district, killing 24 persons and wounding 18 others, as well as causing massive damages to the cafe,” a police source told the National Iraqi News agency (NINA).

Shortly after the suicide attack two other bombs exploded, one in a football field and another in a market, also north of the capital.

A bomb exploded in a football field in Muqdadiyah, killing five people and wounding 14, among them three children, the agency said.

In the nearby Diyala provincial capital, Baquba, a bomb exploded in a market, killing four people and wounding 20, NINA reported.

The fresh attacks came hours after al-Qaeda’s branch in Iraq claimed responsibility Monday for a wave of attacks that killed more than 75 people during the Eid ul-Fitr holiday at the weekend.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant said its members launched the attacks in response to mass arrests by Iraqi security forces of “unarmed Muslims.” “The Islamic State mobilized in Baghdad, the southern provinces and others to convey a quick deterrent message on the third day of Eid ul-Fitr,” the group said.

In July, the militant group said it freed some 500 prisoners in two coordinated attacks on prisons in central Iraq.

Iraq has seen a surge in violence, raising fears of a return to the sectarian strife that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006-07. The United Nations said this month that 1,057 people were killed in July, the deadliest month in more than five years.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is a merger of al-Qaeda affiliates in Iraq and Syria.

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