Photo by Azhar Shallal/AFP/Getty Images.
Iraq was shaken on Tuesday by more than two dozen explosions across the country, which killed at least 49 and wounded another 200 on the ninth anniversary of the U.S. invasion, Reuters reports.
It was not clear who was behind the attacks, although government officials say that the coordinated blasts were likely timed to heighten fears and questions about Iraqi security ahead of next week's Arab League summit in Baghdad.
The explosions rocked major cities and smaller towns alike. CNN reports that blasts were reported in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Karbala, Hilla, Tikrit, Baiji, Ramadi and Falluja. Bombs were defused in Baquba, Falluja and Mosul. At least some of the bombings appeared to target police or government buildings.
An Iraqi government spokesman told Reuters that the nation would again step up security, already increased in anticipation of the next week's summit, in order "to counteract terrorist groups' attacks and to fill loopholes used by them to infiltrate security, whether in Baghdad or other provinces."
The violence was the deadliest in a little less than a month. A string of Feb. 23 bombings in the country killed at least 60, according to Reuters' count.