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Only a few hours before breaking their fasts Monday (July 23rd), thousands of Iraqis began bidding farewell to the victims of attacks that killed 91 people and injured 211 others nationwide earlier in the day, according to figures from the Iraqi Interior Ministry.
Funeral services in some cities turned into processions condemning al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups as citizens called on the government to capture the perpetrators.
"The government has instructed all security units in the country to respond swiftly to al-Qaeda's crimes and severely punish its members," said Ali al-Dabbagh, the Iraqi government spokesperson Tuesday.
He urged citizens to increase their co-operation with security forces.
In Baghdad's Sadr City, women and children led the funeral procession for victims who died in two explosions, one by a car bomb and the other an explosive charge near the municipal services office.
"There is no god but God; terrorists are the enemies of God," the mourners chanted. "Sunnis and Shias, we are all enemies of al-Qaeda."
Iraqi security forces imposed strict security measures in Baghdad, Fallujah, Diyala, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din and Ninawa during funeral services for the victims, who were shrouded and given customary Islamic rites at mosques in these areas.
Tribal sheikhs, political leaders and parliament members of all sects participated in the services. Mourners and officials condemned the attacks, describing them as horrific, especially since they occurred during Ramadan.
Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq accused al-Qaeda of responsibility for the attacks.
"As usual, al-Qaeda caused devastation, destruction, bloodshed and the cries of women and children equally among Iraqis," he said. "This shows that [the organisation] considers all Iraqis, regardless of sect, as its enemies. There is blood on the sidewalks and streets of Iraqi cities, which had not yet dried. The investigation must be done in a professional way, and those in the army and police who are derelict must be held accountable."
The attacks, which involved suicide bombings, explosive charges, car bombs and armed attacks in at least 14 Iraqi cities, were the deadliest since a similar wave of bombings in May 2010.
They came a day after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the so-called al-Qaeda emir, said in a video posted late Saturday on jihadist websites, "I call upon all Muslim men and young people all over the world, and I strongly urge them to join us."
Iraqi officials said the victims of the attacks were innocent citizens.
"These strikes are beyond what can be described as abhorrent and despicable because they targeted innocent people who were doing their daily work and were waiting to go back to their families and children before iftar," said Ali al-Talabani, a member of the defence and security committee for the Kirkuk provincial council.
"The latest bombings make it imperative to exert more effort to eliminate terror by building strong intelligence services and achieving genuine national reconciliation," Khalid al-Alwani, a member of parliament said.
"Al-Qaeda has used numerous methods of killing and bombing, and they saw how the Iraqis continue to appreciate life," he said. "The dreams of Iraqis are big, and the first dreams are to wipe out the last terrorist under their feet and declare Iraq a democratic country free of terror and a centre in the Middle East that can be counted on to build peace and stability."
Sheikh Wehayeb Hussein al-Khatlan, a tribal sheikh who took part in the funeral procession for victims in the Ameriya district of western Baghdad, said Iraqis will not remain silent about the attacks.
"This is al-Qaeda's way, killing and slaughtering innocent people during God's holiest month," he said.
"We shall bury our dead, but not their memories which will be like fire on al-Qaeda and its allies, as we will not remain silent about what has happened," al-Khatlan said.
Iskander Witwit, deputy chairman of parliament's defence and security committee, said, "The government will provide treatment to all victims who were injured in the latest bombings and has pledged to compensate the families of the martyrs in accordance with Iraqi law."
"We have trust in our people," he said. "They will not break or be weakened because of these vile attacks."
Mourners said that members of al-Qaeda must be brought to justice.
"I lost one of my dearest friends in the attacks," said Mohammed Hani Wakaa, 42. "He was a simple man who repaired bicycles in a shop in the centre of Kirkuk and was providing for his five children, his wife and his mother."
"Al-Qaeda must pay the price for this in any way. The security forces must allow us to partake in pursuing them to get rid of them fast," Wakaa said.