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Bombings in Iraq kill 65 a decade after invasion

  • A federal policeman stands guard at the scene of a car bomb attack in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Insurgents unleashed deadly attacks Tuesday against Shiite areas in Baghdad, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

    A federal policeman stands guard at the scene of a car bomb attack in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Insurgents unleashed deadly attacks Tuesday against Shiite areas in Baghdad, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

  • Smoke rises after a car bomb attack in Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. A wave of apparently coordinated bombings rumbled across the Iraqi capital Tuesday morning, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

    Smoke rises after a car bomb attack in Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. A wave of apparently coordinated bombings rumbled across the Iraqi capital Tuesday morning, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

  • People evacuate the body of a car bomb victim following an attack near the municipal building in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. A wave of apparently coordinated bombings rumbled across the Iraqi capital Tuesday morning, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

    People evacuate the body of a car bomb victim following an attack near the municipal building in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. A wave of apparently coordinated bombings rumbled across the Iraqi capital Tuesday morning, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

  • People gather at the scene of a car bomb attack close to one of the main gates to the heavily-fortified Green Zone, which houses major government offices and the embassies of several countries, including the United States and Britain in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. A wave of bombings tore through Baghdad on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores of people, police said, highlighting increasing sectarian tensions on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led war. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban)

    People gather at the scene of a car bomb attack close to one of the main gates to the heavily-fortified Green Zone, which houses major government offices and the embassies of several countries, including the United States and Britain in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. A wave of bombings tore through Baghdad on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores of people, police said, highlighting increasing sectarian tensions on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led war. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban)

  • A federal policeman stands guard at the scene of a car bomb attack in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Insurgents unleashed deadly attacks Tuesday against Shiite areas in Baghdad, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)
  • Smoke rises after a car bomb attack in Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. A wave of apparently coordinated bombings rumbled across the Iraqi capital Tuesday morning, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)
  • People evacuate the body of a car bomb victim following an attack near the municipal building in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. A wave of apparently coordinated bombings rumbled across the Iraqi capital Tuesday morning, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)
  • People gather at the scene of a car bomb attack close to one of the main gates to the heavily-fortified Green Zone, which houses major government offices and the embassies of several countries, including the United States and Britain in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. A wave of bombings tore through Baghdad on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores of people, police said, highlighting increasing sectarian tensions on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led war. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban)

Bombings and assassinations rattled parts of Iraq, including the capital, yesterday, leaving at least 60 dead and offering a grim reminder of the country’s instability a decade after the United States military invaded.

Citing deteriorating security, officials announced a delay of provincial elections scheduled to take place next month in Anbar and Nineveh, two predominantly Sunni provinces that have become hubs of unrest and protest in recent months.

Yesterday’s violence, which marked the deadliest day in Iraq this year, introduced a new irritant to the country’s volatile politics. The powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr threatened to join other factions boycotting the coalition government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, saying the government is not keeping its citizens safe.

Plumes of smoke darkened an otherwise clear blue sky when the explosions started in the capital after 8 a.m. By afternoon, the city’s streets were largely deserted, as Iraqis took shelter.

The bombings were in mainly Shiite areas of Baghdad, following a strategy that Sunni militants have employed in the past to stoke sectarian tension. An Iraqi security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters, said 48 people were killed and 177 were wounded. The Associated Press put the death toll in the capital at 57.

No group claimed responsibility for the attacks, and it was unclear whether they were meant to send a message on the 10th anniversary of the war that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, a milestone that has gone largely unmentioned here.

“We live in bitterness,” said Waleed Farhan, a 36-year-old driver in Amel, one of the districts targeted. “How long are we going to stay in this
situation?”

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