Another wave of bombings in Iraq killed dozens of people today and wounded about 200 in more than a dozen cities and towns.
According to The Associated Press, it's the kind of violence "officials had dreaded in the run-up to a Baghdad meeting of the Arab world's top leaders, which the government hoped would showcase the nation's stability." That summit is scheduled for next week. As the AP adds:
"The gathering is to be held in Iraq for the first time in a generation. Plans for Baghdad to host the meeting last year were postponed, in part because of concerns about Iraq's security. ...
"Extremists have launched large-scale attacks in Iraq every few weeks for nearly a year. The violence now is nowhere as frequent as it was during the tit-for-tat sectarian fighting a few years ago. But the attacks appear to be more deadly than they were before American military's withdrawal in late December."
Reuters says there were "at least 16 near-simultaneous explosions struck cities and towns across Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least 43 people and wounding more than 200. ... It was Iraq's deadliest day in nearly a month, and the breadth of coordinated bombs in more than a dozen cities showed an apparent determination by insurgents to prove that the government cannot keep the country safe ahead of the summit."
The BBC notes that today's attacks also "coincide with the ninth anniversary of the beginning of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq."