Iraqi security officials accused al-Qaeda of carrying out the attacks that killed scores of civilians and security personnel in a number of Iraqi cities on Wednesday (August 25th).
Car bomb attacks in Baghdad, Fallujah, Ramadi, al-Kut, Basra, and Baqubah killed 61 and wounded 195.
The Iraqi Ministry of Defence also announced that Iraqi security forces thwarted several other attacks also planned for Wednesday.
"The Iraqi Army managed to kill three suicide bombers before they could reach their goals and prevented three car bombs in Fallujah, Mosul, and Baghdad," said Col. Salih al-Obaidi of the Ministry of Defense. "This is in addition to dismantling five Katyusha rockets that were set to target an Iraqi Army base in Refaat, Diwaniyah province, just minutes before their launch."
Ministry of Defence spokesman Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari said al-Qaeda was attempting to undermine the efforts of security forces by attacking on more than one front.
"The escalation by al-Qaeda is expected and aims to weaken the morale of the Iraqi forces," al-Askari said. "However, Wednesday's attacks will not pass by easily, as there will be severe response by Iraqi forces to kill or arrest those who are responsible for such attacks."
String of attacks hits six Iraqi cities
In northeast Baghdad, 18 civilians and military personnel were killed when a suicide bomber blew up his vehicle near a police station in al-Qahira neighbourhood. The explosion took place while policemen were changing shifts in the morning.
The attack also wounded 55 people, most of whom were policemen. The blast caused huge material damage to nearby buildings and burned 32 vehicles, according to Maj. Mohammed Abdul Khalek of Baghdad Operations Command.
In al-Shaljiya area of Baghdad, two civilians were killed and seven others wounded in another car bomb. The vehicle was parked on a busy street when it exploded.
In Wasit province, a suicide bomber driving a Toyota blew himself up near a police station in al-Kut, killing 26 people and wounding 63.
"The chief of police Col. Waleed Sami was among the people who were killed, after he died of wounds sustained during the attack," said Col. Aziz al-Emara, leader of the rapid reaction forces in al-Kut.
In Anbar province, two car bombs killed eight people and wounded 16 others. The explosions targeted Iraqi police and army patrols in Ramadi and Fallujah.
Anbar Police Command spokesperson Maj. Raheem Zebn said a third blast took place before the terrorists could flee the scene of the explosion.
"Because of a failure in the devices, the car exploded before the terrorists left it, and they were killed right away," he said.
In Diyala province, a suicide attack targeted the office of Diyala Governor Abdul Nassir al-Mehdawi, killing three civilians and wounding 17 civilians and members of the security forces. The governor was unharmed.
"The terrorist attack was aimed at breaking the calm and security stability that the province has witnessed for a while," said Lt. Col. Elwan Sobeih of the provincial police. "This is the method of al-Qaeda terrorist organization."
In Karbala, four civilians were killed and 29 others were wounded in a car bomb targeting a police station in al-Nasr neighbourhood, said Capt. Fawzi Abdullah of Karbala Operations Command.
Four civilians and four police officers were wounded in a car bomb near a garage close to al-Ashar police station in Basra.
Security forces call on citizens to help fight terrorism
Alaa al-Taie, a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Interior, urged citizens to co-operate with security forces to prevent more attacks and to bring terrorists to justice.
"Security depends on people's co-operation. We can defeat violence in a short time if everybody unites and cooperates with security forces," he said.
Iraqis can use the hotline (130) to inform security forces about suspicious activities.
"This will prevent death and help provide security for Iraqis," al-Taie said.