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Iraq suffers deadliest day of 2012 as 103 are killed

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
July 25, 2012 -- Updated 0957 GMT (1757 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Attackers struck across Iraq on Monday in assaults that killed 103 and injured 267
  • The Interior Ministry says the attacks bear the hallmark of al Qaeda in Iraq
  • It is the deadliest day since U.S. forces withdrew in December
  • Death toll now supersedes the 93 killed in June 13 attacks

Baghdad (CNN) -- The number of dead in a wave of attacks across Iraq on Monday has risen to 103, authorities said Tuesday, making it the deadliest day in the country this year, according to a CNN count. The attacks wounded 267 people, they said.

There were at least 35 attacks in seven provinces Monday, authorities said, ranging from shootings and assassinations to car bombs and roadside explosives.

The Islamic State of Iraq, an al Qaeda-linked group, claimed responsibility for the attacks. In a statement, posted on radical jihadist websites, the group

praised the operation calling it a "new phase."

Monday's violence evoked the bloodiest days of the war, when random and targeted attacks routinely killed scores of people per day. Attacks have declined sharply since their peak in 2006, but insurgents have continued to target civilians and security forces since the United States withdrew its forces in December.

Before Monday's attacks, the deadliest day this year had been June 13, when a number of coordinated attacks nationwide killed 93 people.

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Monday's attacks coincide with an emerging political crisis in Iraq, which faces an increasingly fractious legislature as Iraq's Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish political blocs increasingly seem at odds.

Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has struggled to forge a power-sharing agreement and has yet to fill key Cabinet positions, including the ministers of defense, interior and national security, while his backers have shown signs of wobbling support.

"They promised us that violence would end when American troops leave Iraq, but on the contrary, things are getting worse," college student Khalid Nima said Monday, who blamed the government for failing to stanch the violence. "This is not the country where I want to plan for my future."

An attack on Monday killed 32 people and wounded 43 in the town of Taji, roughly 20 miles north of Baghdad; authorities said a car bomb and four roadside bombs exploded in a residential complex there.

In another attack, at an Iraqi military base north of Baghdad, militants armed with mortars and small arms killed at least 15 soldiers, the officials said.

Another car bomb detonated outside government offices on the edge of Sadr City, a Shiite enclave in the capital, killing at least 12 people and wounding 18, the ministry said.

Authorities reported these other incidents of violence on Monday:

-- At least five people were killed and 19 injured in Kirkuk by three car bombs and five roadside bombs.

-- At least five people were killed and 22 injured when a car bomb exploded near a busy market in Diwaniya.

-- At least three people were killed and 31 injured in a car bombing outside a popular restaurant in al-Husseiniya, a predominantly Shiite suburb in northeastern Baghdad.

-- At least three people were killed and 19 hurt when a bomb struck an outdoor market in Mosul.

-- At least two people were killed in the Qadisiya neighborhood of Baghdad.

-- At least two people were killed and 11 wounded when a motorcycle rigged with a bomb exploded at an outdoor market in Muqdadiyah, in the Sunni-dominated province of Diyala.

-- At least one person was killed and nine were hurt when an attacker struck an Iraqi security patrol in Tarmiya.

-- At least one person was killed and seven were hurt by a roadside bomb in the al-Jihad neighborhood of Baghdad.

-- At least one person was killed and seven were hurt by a roadside bomb in al-Baaj, west of Mosul, in northern Iraq.

Are you affected by violence in Iraq? Share your story.

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