BAGHDAD (AP) -- At least 55 people are now reported dead in a series of attacks across a wide area of Iraq today.
The attacks mostly targeted security forces. Iraqi officials describe the violence as a "frantic" effort by insurgents to show Iraqi civilians that the violence in their country is far from over.
The apparently coordinated bombings and shootings unfolded over the course of several hours in Baghdad and 11 other cities. Most of the deaths took place in the capital.
The targets included government offices and restaurants. One attack hit close to a primary school.
One man in a Shiite neighborhood of northern Baghdad says the bombing at a restaurant left a gruesome scene. He's asking where Iraq's police and soldiers were at the time.
Iraq's Interior Ministry is blaming al-Qaida insurgents.
The ongoing attacks show that Iraq is still unstable, despite government assurances that it could protect itself after American troops left in December.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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