An al-Qaeda affiliate claimed responsibility Wednesday for a chain of 24 bombings and two gun attacks in Iraq a day earlier, as the death toll rose to 61, CNN reports. A statement attributed to the Islamic State of Iraq appeared on extremist websites, calling Tuesday’s carnage “retaliation” against Shiite members in government. Though Iraq has grown safer in the last six years, sectarian violence and instability still grip the country 10 years after the start of the U.S.-led war.The attacks – 17 car bombs, seven roadside bombs, and two shootings – ripped mostly through Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, but also struck Sunni communities in other towns. At least 200 people were wounded. Early Wednesday another car bomb detonated on a busy square, killing two people and injuring five more. It’s the second time in less than a week that the Iraqi capital has endured major simultaneous attacks.Ten years on, the war left more than 134,000 Iraqis and more than 4,800 U.S. and other coalition service members dead. The war cost hundreds of billions of dollars.