Zebari, a Kurd, and Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraq's Kurdistan region, have been pushing for a government that includes both Maliki and Allawi. The Kurds have been hesitant to back Maliki, whom other parties have accused of authoritarian tendencies, without bringing Allawi and the Sunnis on board too.
Hospitalized victims spoke with resignation. Ali Yassin, with shrapnel wounds to his arms, legs and head, had been watching the sunset in Sadr City when he was suddenly knocked down by flames.
"I am sorry the situation has gotten so bad," he said. "This emergency room is packed, dirty and chaotic. The doctors are doing everything they can, but what can anyone do?"
Hassan Naima, who operates a food cart in the eastern neighborhood of Shaab, was preparing sandwiches for customers when he heard four loud blasts. Cars raced away with wounded people, and smoke filled the air.
"Where are the people who are bragging about the security?" Naima asked. "Where is the government? They left us to face the unknown. Yesterday it was the church, and now so many explosions in one day. All the government knows is how to set up roadblocks to clog the street and make traffic jams."
Zeki is a staff writer in The Times' Baghdad Bureau.