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Iraq Transition

Group tied to al Qaeda claims attack on Iraqi deputy PM

Story Highlights

• NEW: Eight killed, 34 wounded, by suicide truck bomb in shopping area
• NEW: Suicide bomber in pastry shop kills at least 10 in Tal Afar
Suicide truck bomb kills at least 20 Saturday at Baghdad police station
• Terror group threatens more attacks on government officials
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A terrorist group linked to al Qaeda claimed responsibility for Friday's assassination attempt on Iraq's deputy prime minister and warned of future attacks on other "traitors."

In a statement posted to an Islamic extremist Web site on Saturday, the group Islamic State of Iraq said it was "able to target [Salam al-Zubaie] in his house."

Al-Zubaie was wounded and nine people were killed in the suicide bombing inside the minister's compound shortly after he and others joined in Friday prayers, a security adviser said, speaking on condition of anonymity. (Watch debris from the blast and a ball bearing from the suicide bomb Video)

The adviser said the attacker was a friend of one of al-Zubaie's guards and had been invited to the compound in central Baghdad where al-Zubaie lives and works. The bomber was not among the worshippers.

The Iraqi government is investigating.

In Saturday's message, Islamic State of Iraq members said "our brothers in ministry security" told them that al-Zubaie was in serious condition at a hospital in the Green Zone and they hoped God would not "save that deserted traitor" who sold out "his religion and his people."

"We say for all traitors, the officials in [Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri] al-Maliki's infidel government, that the worst waits for you. You will never be safe as long as we are alive and our hearts are beating," the posting said.

The deputy prime minister is a Sunni in a predominately Shiite nation. Iraq has two deputy prime ministers. (Interactive: More on al-Zubaie's background)

Shortly after the attack, Al-Zubaie was hospitalized at the 28th Combat Support Hospital in the Green Zone. Gen. Qassim Atta, spokesman for the new Baghdad security plan, said the deputy prime minister required surgery.

His condition Saturday was not immediately known.

Prime Minister al-Maliki visited al-Zubaie at the hospital Friday, where doctors told him the deputy prime minister was in stable condition and would not have to be transferred outside Iraq for further treatment, according to a written statement from al-Maliki's office. The statement called the bombing a "criminal incident."

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad said in a written statement: "My heartfelt condolences go out to the families who have lost loved ones in this vicious attack and to all the Iraqi people who suffer at the merciless hands of these criminals."

Three suicide bombings kill at least 38

Three suicide bombings in Iraq on Saturday killed at least 38 people, including 13 Iraqi police officers, and wounded another 63 people, according to Iraqi officials.

A suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest blew himself up inside a pastry shop in Tal Afar Saturday afternoon, killing at least 10 people and wounding three others, according to Tal Afar Mayor Najam Abdullah.

The explosion happened at 3:30 p.m. in a predominantly Sunni district. Tal Afar is about 260 miles (420 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad.

A suicide bomber driving a truck packed with explosives detonated near the Imam Mahdi Shiite mosque in a shopping section of Haswa, a town about 30 miles south of Baghad Saturday afternoon, killing eight people and wounding 34 others, according to Hilla police.

In southern Baghdad, a suicide bomber speeding toward an Iraqi police station in a truck set off his explosives Saturday morning, killing at least 20 people and wounding 26 others, a Baghdad police official told CNN.

Thirteen police officers were among those killed, the official said. The blast also damaged the station, which was under reconstruction.

The bomber hid explosives in a truck loaded with bricks to appear as if he were working at the building site, the official said.

In other violence around the capital, gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in a commercial district with rocket-propelled grenades, killing a civilian and wounding two others, Baghdad police said.

Insurgents launched two mortar rounds into a residential area in a Shiite neighborhood in southern Baghdad, killing three civilians and wounding seven others, police said.

Iraqi police found 26 bullet-riddled bodies across the capital on Friday, Baghdad police said Saturday.

The U.S. military said Saturday two U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq on Friday.

One died when a roadside bomb exploded as he was walking in a security patrol south of Baghdad, and the other was killed while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, the military announced Saturday.

The death toll of U.S. military personnel in the four-year-old Iraq war is 3,235, including seven civilian contractors of the Defense Department.

CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq and Basim Mahdi contributed to this report.

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