Bombings struck several areas in Baghdad and five other cities today, killing at least 30 people in the first major attacks in Iraq in nearly a month. Nearly 100 people were wounded in the rapid-fire explosions that unfolded over an hour and 15 minutes. Half of the bombs struck at security forces and government officials—two frequent targets for insurgents still seeking to undermine Iraq's efforts to normalize after years of war and violence.
In all, officials said extremists launched 12 attacks in the Iraqi capital and in the cities of Kirkuk, Samarra, Baqouba, Dibis, and Taji. Mortars were fired into two other northern cities, but no one was harmed. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but one Iraqi military commander said al-Qaeda was the prime suspect. "They want to send a message that they can target the stability that has been achieved recently," he said.