The Associated Press reports: A torrent of bombings and shootings ripped across eight Iraqi cities on Tuesday, targeting police and Shiite pilgrims and killing 46 people. The deadly wave undermined the government’s hopes for stability ahead of next week’s meeting of the Arab world’s top leaders.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, which also wounded more than 200 people. But authorities have feared al-Qaida or its Sunni sympathizers would try to thwart this year’s Arab League summit.
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.
In all, eight cities were hit Tuesday in what appeared to be coordinated attacks against police and government officials. One of the deadliest strikes came in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, where officials said two car bombs exploded in a crowded shopping and restaurant area.