Insurgent attacks across Iraq on Wednesday left 24 people dead and some 126 others wounded ahead of the country's first parliamentary elections since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in late 2011.
Up to seven car bombs struck the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, killing a total of eight people and wounding 62, six of the car bombings occurred within minutes in the morning and the seventh detonated in the afternoon.
One of the blasts hit a busy intersection in the Shiite district of Sadr City in the eastern part of Baghdad, leaving a civilian dead and six others wounded, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Another car bomb struck new Baghdad district in the southeastern part of the capital, killing two civilians and wounding some 25 others, the source said.
A civilian was killed and ten others were wounded when a booby- trapped car ripped through a marketplace in Shaab district in northeastern Baghdad, the source added.
The fourth car bomb detonated near traffic police headquarters in Kadhmiyah district in northern Baghdad, leaving three people dead and 12 wounded, he said.
Two more car bombs went off at a busy parking lot in Saadoun Street in downtown Baghdad, wounding six people and damaging several cars, he added.
In the afternoon, a seventh car bomb exploded near a restaurant in Jadriyah district in southern Baghdad, killing a civilian and wounding three others, the source said.
In a separate incident, two mortar rounds landed on houses in Sabi al-Bour area, some 15 km north of Baghdad, left a civilian killed and seven others wounded, he added.
Also in the day, four car bombs struck cities and towns in Iraq 's eastern province of Wasit around noon, leaving a total of five people killed and 32 wounded.
Two of the car bombs ripped through the city of Nu'maniyah, some 120 km southeast of Baghdad, killing a civilian and injuring ten others, head of the provincial health office Jabbar al-Yaseri said.
Another car bomb went off at the town of Hafriyah, some 50 km southeast of Baghdad, killing four people and wounding eight others, al-Yaseri said.
A fourth car bomb, detonated near a popular restaurant in the town of Aziziyah, some 75 km southeast of Baghdad, wounding 14 people, some of them were in critical conditions, he added.
In Anbar province, nine civilians were killed and 23 wounded by artillery and mortar shelling on several neighborhoods in the besieged city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, a medical source from the city hospital told Xinhua.
Separately, Humam Muhammed a cameraman working for a local al- Taghier satellite channel was killed and two of his brothers wounded when an artillery round struck his house during a battle between an army force and gunmen in central the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, a provincial police source said.
Earlier, Muaiyad al-Lami, head of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, said that more than 390 journalists have been killed in Iraq since 2003, and up to 17 were killed in 2013, the highest toll since 2008.
Also in Ramadi, a battle between gunmen and Iraqi soldiers resulted in the capturing of a Lieutanent Colonel and six soldiers, in addition to seizing five military humvees by the gunmen.
Anbar province has been the scene of fierce clashes that flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in late December last year.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks, but the al-Qaida front in Iraq, in most cases, were allegedly responsible for such massive attacks in the country, in an apparent attempt to shape a setback to the Iraqi Shiite-led government a few weeks ahead of the landmark parliamentary elections on April 30, which is the first in the country since the withdrawal of the U.S. troops in late 2011.
The attacks also came at the 11th anniversary of the fall of the Saddam regime when the U.S.-led coalition forces swept the Iraqi capital and toppled the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.