"It appeared Iraq was in a time warp, a nation still struggling with terrorists, sectarian gangs and militias at a time much of the Arab world is moving to replace extremism through revolutions for democracy. The violence seemed intent on disrupting the government of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki as U.S. forces are preparing to leave eight years after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
There were more than 35 attacks nationwide, shattering the relative calm of recent months. The deadliest was in the southern city of Kut, where an explosion whirled through a marketplace. Minutes later, as onlookers gathered, a car bomb detonated, killing at least 33 people and injuring 77, according to a security official."