Bombs striking Shiite neighborhoods, security forces, and other targets across Iraq killed at least 26 people today, in the latest instance in which insurgents launched coordinated attacks in multiple cities in a single day, apparently intending to rekindle widespread sectarian conflict. The deadliest attack came in the town of Taji, a former al-Qaeda stronghold just north of Baghdad, where three explosive-rigged cars went off within minutes of each other. Police said eight people died and 28 were injured in the back-to-back blasts that began around 7:15am.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the violence, but car bombs are a hallmark of al-Qaeda in Iraq. In all, at least 94 people were wounded in the wave of attacks that stretched from the restive but oil-rich city of Kirkuk in Iraq's north to the southern Shiite town of Kut. In the Shiite neighborhood of Shula, in northwest Baghdad, a suicide bomber set off his explosives-packed car, killing one and wounding seven. "So many people were hurt," lamented a Shula resident. "What have those innocent people done to deserve this?"