Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Tuesday's coordinated
bombings across Baghdad were "cowardly" attacks aimed at sowing chaos
in the country as it makes political progress.
A series of car bombings killed at least 121 people and wounded more than 400 others in the capital.
Three of the blasts occurred within a span of a few minutes, with bombs
exploding near the Interior Ministry, a Finance Ministry office and a
court complex. Some cars were rigged to explode, while others were
detonated by suicide bombers.
The first of the day's attacks involved a suicide car bomber who struck a police patrol in southern Baghdad.
No one has claimed responsibility for the violence, but Iraqi security
officials blamed al-Qaida-linked terrorists and those loyal to the
outlawed Ba'ath party of Saddam Hussein.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Britain and the White House quickly condemned the attacks.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Iraq's leaders have moved
the country and democracy in the right direction by passing the
much-delayed electoral law on Sunday. And he said those who feel
threatened by this are acting out.
Iraqi TV showed a billowing plume of black smoke hanging over the site
of one bombing, as firefighters and rescue workers helped the wounded
and picked through debris.
It was the third large-scale coordinated bombing in Baghdad in four months.
Tuesday's attacks were the worst in the Iraqi capital since late
October, when twin car bomb attacks outside municipal offices killed at
least 155 people. In August, at least 100 people were killed in bomb
and mortar attacks that targeted government ministries in the Iraqi
The United States withdrew its combat troops from Iraqi cities on June
30, and Iraqi forces officially assumed control of security in Baghdad
and other urban areas.