BAGHDAD (AP) — A relentless wave of attacks across Iraq has left 55 people dead.
The bombing and shooting attacks began before dawn and continued until late at night. In addition to the 55 dead, more than 100 others were wounded, in a show of force aimed at weakening the authority of Iraq's government.
It was Iraq's deadliest day in more than three weeks. The attacks came as families prepared to gather for a holiday weekend.
One attack was carried out by a suicide bomber who walked into a teashop about 260 miles northwest of the capital. Officials say the explosion killed seven people. Late in the evening, a parked car exploded near a market and several restaurants in a city southeast of Baghdad, killing seven and wounding 25.
Iraqi officials are tightening security ahead of the holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. They're hoping to avert an upsurge in violence as crowds gather in parks, shrines and mosques to mark the occasion.
150-c-16-(Sinan Salaheddin (SEE'-nahn sah-lah-heh-DEEN'), AP correspondent)-"its local allies"-AP correspondent Sinan Salaheddin reports these attacks are a sign of terrorists regrouping since the departure of the last U.S. troops from Iraq eight months ago. (16 Aug 2012)
<<CUT *150 (08/16/12)>> 00:16 "its local allies"
151-c-09-(Sinan Salaheddin (SEE'-nahn sah-lah-heh-DEEN'), AP correspondent)-"a lethal force"-AP correspondent Sinan Salaheddin reports insurgents are using the attacks to undermine confidence in the Iraqi government. (16 Aug 2012)
<<CUT *151 (08/16/12)>> 00:09 "a lethal force"
APPHOTO BAG108: An Iraqi police man inspects the scene of a car bomb attack in Kirkuk, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Aug 16, 2012. Five separate bombings in central and northern Iraq, killed and wounded scores of people early Thursday, police said. (AP Photo/Emad Matti) (16 Aug 2012)
<<APPHOTO BAG108 (08/16/12)>>