Bombs hit three Baghdad hotels

At least 36 killed as insurgents attempt to lower faith in P.M.

Workers are carrying severed limbs through streets covered in broken glass following a coordinated suicide attack that reduced houses to rubble, killed at least 36 people and wounded 71 others in Baghdad today. Three bombs exploded near landmark hotels popular with journalists and other westerners in the city. The strike comes as part of a campaign to undercut faith in the country’s security forces, political regime and Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki in the lead up to parliamentary elections. Many Iraqis blame the security forces for their inability to protect the capital—their checkpoints are visible on almost every street, but their bomb detection equipment has been labeled useless by the U.S. and Britain. Similar bombings took place in August, October and December and have destroyed government ministries, a provincial headquarters, a courthouse, colleges and a bank. Those earlier attacks were blamed on a branch of Al Qaeda and former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath party, but there is little evidence that the two groups are working together.

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