Insurgents killed at least 39 people in a wave of attacks against Iraqi security forces earlier today, gunning down soldiers at an army post and bombing police recruits waiting in line to apply for jobs, officials said. The violence, which struck at least 10 cities across the nation, highlighted militant attempts to sow havoc in the country and undermine the government. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, although security forces are a frequent target of al-Qaeda's Iraqi franchise, which has vowed to reassert itself and take back areas it was forced from before US troops withdrew from the country last year.
In the day's deadliest attack, gunmen stormed a small Iraqi Army outpost in the town of Dujail before dawn, killing at least 10 soldiers and wounding eight more, according to police and hospital officials in the nearby city of Balad, some 50 miles north of Baghdad. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release the information. Hours later, a car bomb struck a group of police recruits waiting in line to apply for jobs with the state-run Northern Oil Co. outside the northern city of Kirkuk. A city police commander said seven recruits were killed and 17 wounded. He said all the recruits were Sunni Muslims and blamed the early morning attack on al-Qaeda, but did not provide details.