A wave of apparently coordinated bombing and shooting attacks in six different provinces across Iraq yesterday killed at least 37 people and wounded more than 150, security officials said.
It was the deadliest day in Iraq since March 20, when shootings and bombings claimed by al-Qaeda front group the Islamic State of Iraq killed 50 people and wounded 255 nationwide.
The attacks, which come amid heightened political tension, drew an accusation from the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc that security measures were insufficient, and that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, as head of the armed forces, was responsible for the deficiency.
Twenty-two civilians, 10 police, three members of an anti-al-Qaeda militia and two soldiers were killed in dozens of attacks, including 14 car bombings, 13 other bomb attacks and three suicide blasts.
Bombings in and around Baghdad killed at least 17 people and wounded 97, an interior ministry official said.
A car bomb, targeting Iraqi Health Minister Majid Hamed Amin’s convoy in Haifa Street in Baghdad, killed two civilians and wounded nine people, including four of the minister’s guards.
Four more car bombs and a roadside bomb in the capital killed nine people and wounded 53.
In Taji, north of the capital, two roadside bombs, two car bombs and a suicide bombing killed six people and wounded 29, and a suicide bomber in Tarmiyah, also north of Baghdad, blew up a vehicle by an army base, killing one soldier and wounding six.
In northern Iraq, bombings in Kirkuk Province killed nine people and wounded 24, high-ranking police officers said.
A car bomb against the convoy of police Brigadier General Taha Salaheddin south of Kirkuk City killed two police and wounded 15.
Another car bomb in the city center killed two police and wounded three, a high-ranking police officer said on condition of anonymity.
Six bombs against houses in the town of Malha, 40km northwest of Kirkuk, killed five people, including an army major, and wounded six, police Brigadier General Sarhad Qader said.
In Ramadi in Anbar Province, two car bombs against police patrols killed one person and wounded nine, a police source said.
In Baqubah in Diyala Province, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the home of police First Lieutenant Mohammed al-Tamimi, killing him and wounding four family members, an army lieutenant colonel and doctor said.
A suicide car bomb at a police checkpoint in the city killed two policemen and wounded two.
Another policeman was killed by a magnetic “sticky bomb” in Baqubah, and gunmen attacked a police station west of the city, killing one policeman and wounding two others, a police major in Diyala and a medic said.
The lieutenant colonel said another policeman was killed by gunmen in a town north of Baqubah, while a bomb targeting a home in the town wounded three.
Another bomb against a home in Ghalbiyah, west of Baqubah, wounded three.
In Samarra, two car bombs exploded near checkpoints of anti-al-Qaeda militiamen, killing three people and wounding six, militia commander Majid Abdullah and a police lieutenant colonel said.
In the main northern city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province, a bomb in a restaurant wounded three people, a police captain said.