The deadliest series of bombings in any one day for the last month tore across Iraq Thursday, killing at least 27 and injuring dozens, said security and medical sources, dpa reported.
The apparently synchronized attacks occurred in the capital, Baghdad, and in the northern and western parts of the country, added the sources. They came mostly in the form of car bombs targeting security forces, according to the sources.
Ten people were killed and five wounded in car bombings in the province of Salah al-Din, 170 kilometres north of Baghdad, they said.
Explosions followed by machine gun fire were heard in central Baghdad, according to witnesses.
At least 24 were injured in the attacks, which targeted mainly Shiite districts in Baghdad, said police.
One of the blasts took place near a road leading to government institutions, they added.
In the northern city of Kirkuk, 250 kilometres north of Baghdad, nine people, including four policemen, died in two separate attacks, security sources said.
Elsewhere, eight civilians were killed in two separate car bombings in the town of Ramadi, some 118 kilometres west of Baghdad.
A suspected suicide bomber was Thursday arrested inside a restaurant in the town of Mosul, 400 kilometres north of Baghdad, before he could blow himself up, police sources told dpa.
The attacks shattered a month-long lull in Iraq, whose Shiite-led government has been at pains in recent months to re-establish security to attract foreign investment to the violence-weary country, say observers.
At least 41 people were killed in bombings and shootings on March 20, a few days before Iraq was to host its first pan-Arab summit in more than two decades.
The Arab League summit was held peacefully in Baghdad on March 29, amid tight security.
Iraq has been gripped by a political crisis between the government of Nuri al-Maliki and Sunni rivals since the US troops completed withdrawal from the country in December, triggering fears about fresh sectarian violence.
Al-Maliki has urged authorities in semi-autonomous Kurdistan in the north to hand over the Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi to face trial in Baghdad for his alleged involvement in plotting attacks near parliament in November.
Al-Maliki claimed the November attacks were intended to target him.
Al-Hashemi, the country's most important Sunni official, has refused to appear before a court in Baghdad, questioning the possibility of a just trial.
Al-Maliki has also fallen out in public with his deputy, Saleh al-Mutlaq, who compared the Shiite premier to Saddam Hussein.
Both al-Hashemi and al-Mutlaq belong to the Iraqiya Bloc, which has a strong Sunni following.
Al-Maliki's moves have been interpreted by the Sunni minority as an attempt to consolidate Shiite control of the government after the US withdrawal.