It was a Bloody Sunday, indeed for Iraqis as bombs and small arms attacks claimed at least 75 lives and left another 285 wounded in a series of attacks that targeted the country’s security forces. The onslaught by insurgents struck a dozen cities and an outpost of the Iraqi Army. Ten soldiers were killed in that assault, and 8 more were wounded. A brigadier general and 7 police recruits were killed when a bomb exploded in the city of Kirkuk, and 2 more car bombs detonated outside the French Consulate in Nasiriyah. Explosives went off in a number of other cities, including Baghdad. No group claimed immediate responsibility for the violence.
"What kind of life is this?" said Safeen Qadir, 26, a university student in Kirkuk. He described dead bodies and weeping, shouting relatives at bombing scenes in Kirkuk, where three midmorning explosions killed seven and wounded about 70.
"Because of the daily explosions, we must write our wills before go out of home," Qadir said. "The death exists in every inch of the city of Kirkuk, and no one is spared from the crime of terrorism."
Journalist Ahmed Rushdi, reporting from Baghdad, told Al Jazeera that, according to him, it was not only al-Qaeda that was behind the attacks.
"It is also the insurgency against the government and the political parties, because there is a major political dispute between al Maliki and his opponents," Rushdi said.
"It is another day in the major failure of the security forces in Iraq. The people here are asking themselves; what is the government doing to regain control of the situation? There seems to be no real intelligence data concerning these attacks."
As the attacks were sweeping across Iraq on Sunday, a Baghdad criminal court sentenced Iraq's Sunni vice president to death after finding him guilty of masterminding the killing of two people. The sentence was handed down in absentia.
Hashemi fled the country after Iraq's Shia-led government authorities had accused him in December of running a death squad, as the last US troops were withdrawing from the country.