Bombs exploded near five Shiite mosques in Baghdad today, killing at least 29 people, according to Iraqi police and hospital officials. The bombings, apparently part of a coordinated attack that targeted worshipers leaving Friday prayers, shattered a period of relative calm in the Iraqi capital. The deaths raised to at least 303 the number of Iraqis killed in what had been one of the least deadly months of the war.
The attacks also underscored concerns about the ability of Iraqi security forces to maintain security gains now that US troops have withdrawn from major urban areas. The deadliest attack today came when a car bomb exploded near a Shiite mosque in northern Baghdad, killing at least 24 people and wounding 17 others. At the about same time, nearly simultaneous explosions rang throughout southern and eastern Baghdad.