(BAGHDAD) — Insurgents seeking to undermine the Iraqi government’s claims that the country is finally stabilizing after close to a decade of war, launched a series of attacks Tuesday that left dozens dead.
The bomb blasts and shootings, which come as Iraq prepares for a major Arab summit in Baghdad, fell on the ninth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion to oust dictator Saddam Hussein, who was eventually caught, tried and executed.
Since the U.S. withdrew all its forces from Iraq at the end of the 2011, the country has struggled to maintain security and Tuesday’s coordinated series of attacks suggested that there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
Iraqi authorities reported militant strikes from the northern city of Kirkuk to the southern cities of Hillah and Karbala.
The death toll, which is expected to rise, was put at 46, with 200 people wounded.
In addition, there were two bombings outside the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, which is where representatives from Arab nations will meet next week to see firsthand what progress Iraqi security forces have made since Americans soldiers departed the country.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ashley Fantz, AnneClaire Stapleton and Ed Payne, CNN Newswire
Michael Pearson, Faith Karimi and Ian Lee, CNN