BAGHDAD – The Iraqi branch of al-Qaida claimed responsibility Friday for a lethal wave of coordinated bombings in the Baghdad area earlier this week, as new attacks killed another 14 in the latest outbreak of violence to hit the country.
Iraq is facing its deadliest wave of violence since 2008. The spike in bloodshed is raising worries the country is heading back toward the brink of civil war fueled by the country’s sectarian and ethnic divisions.
Friday’s deadliest attack struck after nightfall in a Kurdish neighborhood in the ethnically mixed town of Tuz Khormato. Insurgents there set off a nonlethal stun bomb apparently designed to attract a crowd before detonating a real bomb that killed 12 and wounded 10, an official said.
Hours earlier, the al-Qaida affiliate in Iraq, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, posted a message on a militant website taking responsibility for the deadly attacks that rocked the Baghdad area on Wednesday. Coordinated car bombings and other violence that day that killed at least 82 people.
Leader’s son arrested on drug, gun charges
NEW YORK – The son of the president of the South American country of Suriname has been arrested on U.S. drug and weapon charges, federal prosecutors said Friday.
Dino Bouterse, director of Suriname’s anti-terrorism unit, was arrested Thursday in Panama by local authorities and turned over to U.S. agents.
His arrest came as his father, Desi Bouterse, a former coup leader and himself convicted of drug offenses, hosted the annual UNASUR summit for leaders of South American countries.
Dino Bouterse pleaded not guilty Friday before Magistrate Judge James Francis in Manhattan federal court after being flown to New York late Thursday.
Kate back in public after giving birth
LONDON – The Duchess of Cambridge has made her first public appearance since giving birth to Prince George last month, joining her husband, Prince William, at a running event in Wales on Friday.
The new parents weren’t competing in the grueling three-day, 135-mile race around the island of Anglesey. William was the starter at the event, while Kate accompanied him and greeted runners and residents.
Sporting black skinny jeans, wedge shoes and a khaki jacket, Kate, 31, looked well as she laughed and chatted with locals ahead of the race.
Kate’s presence at Friday’s event had not been disclosed ahead of time, and her swift return to her schedule of public engagements was a surprise to some.