Iraq suffered significant bomb attacks in multiple cities today, leaving at least 69 dead and 176 more wounded. The multiple large-scale attacks were apparently coordinated, took place mostly during a 75-minute span, and focused on security personnel. In stark contrast, recent violence has largely resulted in only one or two deaths at a time.
Hamid Mutlaq, a Sunni member of parliament, blamed Baghdad for the slaughter, noting that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office has been stoking political tensions in recent weeks and causing several groups to call for an end to Maliki’s budding "dictatorship." Among the most aggrieved parties is Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi who fled to Iraqi Kurdistan. He fears that Maliki’s machinations are tearing the country apart.
The carnage cut short a relatively quiet period for Iraq. According to the Interior Ministry, March saw the lowest death toll since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Their figures came up to 112 killed. The deadliest day last month left 63 dead and 257 wounded.
The gravest single attack today took place near Kirkuk in Malhaa/Dibis, where a multiple bomb attack killed nine people and wounded 24 more.
In Baghdad, a bomb targeted Health Minister Majeed Hamad Amin but instead killed two bodyguards and wounded six others on Palestine Street. Three people were killed and 20 more were injured in a blast in Kadhimiya. A bomb in Amil killed two construction workers and wounded 18 more. Two people were killed as they allegedly tried to plant a bomb in Ghazaliya. Five civilians were wounded in a Zaafaraniya blast. A judge was assassinated in Saidiya. Two civilians were killed in a blast in Harthiya.
A car bomber exploded his cargo at a Sahwa checkpoint in Samarra, killing five militia members and wounding eight more. Nearby, another bomb killed two people and wounded a Sahwa member. Three policemen were killed in a third but separate blast.
In Mosul, a suicide bomber was killed by security personnel before he could pull off his attack. A blast near a college left two dead and three wounded. A separate blast left three dead and two wounded at a restaurant.
One person was killed and 13 more were wounded in a blast, the first attack in the series, in Baquba.
In Tarmiya, a bomb targeting police killed one civilian and wounded six others, including three policemen.
Four policemen were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near Falluja.
Last night, a bomb in Amiriyat al-Fallujah killed a policeman and wounded another.
Gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Khales, killing one person and wounding three more.
Gunmen stormed a home in Mansouriyat al-Jabal where they killed a Sahwa member.
A car bomb exploded in Dujail, but only killed the driver of the car.
A roadside bomb killed a soldier in Ishaqi.
Gunmen killed a man in Mussayab.
The body of a four-year-old who had been shot was found in Imam Weis.
Six oil policemen were wounded in a blast near Jalawla.
At least five more people were wounded across Diyala province.
In Kanaan, an I.E.D. blast wounded five people at a stadium.
In Jurf al-Sakhar, three people were wounded when the bomb they were allegedly planting exploded prematurely.
Mortars were launched into Balad and Tikrit, but no casualties were reported.
A car bomb was defused in Mafraq.