Car bombers yesterday killed as many as 127 people in Baghdad in a series of attacks that left the city's streets strewn with the wreckage of burning vehicles and the charred bodies of the dead.
The five bombs, including three that were detonated by suicide bombers, exploded in succession across the Iraqi capital over the course of an hour yesterday morning, targeting a mosque, a market, a government ministry, an educational college and a court. Some 425 people were wounded.
The coordinated assault is likely to be the work of al-Qaida in Iraq, which has adopted the tactic of launching devastating bombing attacks about every six weeks to maximise political and psychological impact.
One aim is to discredit the government's claim that it has greatly improved security in the last couple of years.
Some 155 people were killed in the last big attack by bombers on October 25 and over 122 in an earlier assault in August.
The bombings show that al-Qaida, while not the force it was, still has the ability to pool its resources and co-ordinate spectacular attacks such as the one yesterday.