Reporting from Cairo and Baghdad — A series of blasts and gunshots ripped across Iraq on Monday, killing at least 60 people in a day of bloodshed that indicated the nation's security forces may be overwhelmed by insurgents as American soldiers withdraw later this year.
The attacks, including suicide bombers, car explosions and gunfire, struck from north to south throughout the morning in what appeared to be part of a coordinated plan. Soldiers, police officers and market shoppers were targeted in Najaf, Kut, Baghdad, Baqubah and other provinces.
It was one of the most vicious days in months and struck in the middle of the holy month of Ramadan. The deadliest attack was in Kut, where an explosion whirled through a marketplace. As onlookers gathered minutes later, a car bomb detonated, killing at least 33 people and injuring 77, according to a security official.
In Diyala province, a series of car bombs and shootings left 14 people dead in a region known for Al Qaeda fighters. In Najaf, a suicide bomber detonated and five minutes later a parked car exploded near a police building, killing two police officers and four civilians. Five security officers and a counterterrorism chief were killed in suicide bombings in Tikrit.