At least 49 Iraqis were killed and about 187 others wounded in a series of simultaneous attacks Thursday (April 19th) targeting Baghdad and five other Iraqi provinces.
"As of 2 pm, Iraqi hospitals have received 49 [killed] Iraqi victims as a result of today's terrorists attacks," Dr. Said al-Ani, director of the Iraqi Health Ministry's statistics department, told Al-Shorfa.
Al-Ani said 50 of the 187 wounded people have serious injuries, which may raise the death toll later.
In Baghdad, nineteen people, including 11 security personnel, were killed and 102 others were wounded in blasts involving six car bombs and a suicide bomber believed to be mentally deranged, Col. Salam Hussain al-Awadi, director of the Iraqi Interior Ministry's operations unit, told Al-Shorfa.
The attacks took place at Haifa Street, where a car bomb targeting the convoy of Iraqi Health Minister Hamad Amin -- who was not hurt -- exploded, he said.
It was followed by two more car bomb blasts on Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad that targeted a group of Iraqi security forces. In addition, car bombs went off in Mushahida, Kadhimiya and Shula.
Another explosion in Baghdad was caused when an explosives vest worn by a suicide bomber believed to be mentally ill blew up. The vest was detonated by remote control and targeted a gambling hall.
Al-Awadi said the security forces thwarted four other car bomb attacks after these cars were found and dismantled by specialised units.
Meanwhile, thirty Iraqis were killed and 85 others were wounded in Kirkuk, Ramadi, Fallujah, Mosul, Samarra, Baqubah and Mansouriya in attacks utilising car bombs, mortars and IEDs that targeted checkpoints, markets, restaurants, security patrols and Sahwa forces.
Attacks also took place in Taji, north of the capital, and Mussayib, AFP reported.
Maj. Gen. Adil Daham, spokesperson for the Iraqi Interior Ministry, accused al-Qaeda of responsibility for the attacks.
"These attacks are a dirty attempt from al-Qaeda to bring Iraq back to square one," he told Al-Shorfa.
There will be "a harsh, swift response for today's attacks", Daham said.