A wave of attacks has killed dozens of people in Iraq. Since the start of April, violence has killed well over 3,000 people, including more than 700 just in August, according to United Nations estimates.
No one claimed responsibility for Sunday's blasts, which killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 120. The attacks targeted commercial areas and parking lots in seven cities. However, al Qaeda's local branch, the Islamic State of Iraq, has used systematically organized waves of bombings to undermine confidence in the Shiite-led government.
In the city of Hillah, 95 kilometers (60 miles) south of the capital, Baghdad four car bombs killed 19 people, according to police and medics.
In the nearby town of Iskandariyah, 50 kilometers south of the capital, another car bomb hit a parking lot, killing four civilians and wounding nine, police said. Another explosives-rigged parked car bomb went off in an industrial area of the Shiite city of Karbala, 80 kilometers south of Baghdad, killing four and wounding 25, a police officer said. A provincial police officer in Kut, a Shiite-dominated city some 160 kilometers southeast of the capital, said a car bomb targeted a gathering of construction workers and food stalls, killing two and wounding 14.
In Baghdad's Sunni-dominated Azamiyah neighborhood, police said a car bomb killed two and wounded at least eight when it exploded near the convoy of Riyadh al-Adhadh - the head of Baghdad's provincial council and a Sunni lawmaker belonging to the party of the national parliament speaker. The council head escaped unharmed. A bomb also hit a police patrol in Baghdad's western suburbs, killing five bystanders and wounding nine.
mkg,dr/slk (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)