Consecutive blasts in Baghdad killed 68 Iraqis and wounded 202 on Thursday (December 22nd), Iraqi police said.
Baghdad police spokesperson Lt. Col. Mushtaq Talib told Al-Shorfa there were 13 attacks involving car bombs, Katyusha rockets and improvised explosive devices. Eleven security personnel were killed and 54 were wounded.
Talib said the bombings took place between 8:30 and 10:00 am in Karada, Waziriya, Dora, Shula, Alawi, Shaab, Adhamiyah, Horreya, Amil, Abu Deshir and Harithiya. He added that Iraqi police defused four car bombs in various areas of the capital.
The attacks occurred as Iraq is going through a tense political crisis after an arrest warrant was issued for Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who is accused of overseeing death squads.
Ministry of Defence official spokesperson Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari said the attacks "represent a major security breach" that must be prevented in the future.
"Al-Qaeda is the number one suspect in these attacks," al-Askari told Al-Shorfa. "An investigation was opened to hold accountable the security members who failed to discover these attacks before they took place."
Al-Askari said a state of maximum alert was declared across Baghdad.