A wave of attacks across Iraq which left 100 people dead and more than 300 injured has shown al-Qaeda may be battered but it is still able to strike with deadly force.
In one of the bloodiest incidents, two suicide bombers drove into the entrance of a textile factory as workers were ending a shift in the town of Hilla, near Baghdad.
A third bomb exploded as police and medics rushed to the scene.
The violence began with a series of drive-by shootings targeting police and army officers in the capital.
The southern oil city of Basra was also hit with three car bombs… one in a market, the others in a residential area exploding near a petrol station.
Gunmen and bombers targeted several towns in central Iraq exploiting a rise in ethnic tensions.
The attacks come as the country is in political disarray after last March’s inconclusive election.
Two months on, the results have still not been certified after a poll which was designed to deliver stable government.
Both Iraqi and US officials have warned that the political situation could be exploited by al-Qaeda despite it recently having lost two of its leaders at the hands of Iraqi and US security forces.