At least 13 separate attacks pounded Baghdad's Shiite neighborhoods today, killing 76 and wounding nearly 200, the AP reports. The assault was highly organized, with mortar attacks coordinated with bomb-rigged cars and roadside mines. Coming just two days after a hostage crisis at a Catholic church that left 58 dead, the attack underscores the continued difficulties Iraq's security forces face in protecting the populace.
In one devastating attack, a bomb inside a parked car near a popular market in a Sadr City neighborhood killed 15 and wounded 23. The violence came after hundreds of mourners packed a service for those people murdered in Sunday's church siege. Meanwhile, France agreed to grant asylum to 150 Iraqi Christians, some of whom were wounded in the attack.