More than 40 people have been killed and dozens more injured following a wave of deadly attacks and blasts across Iraq.
In one of the worst incidents, gunmen and a suicide bomber targeted a military base north of Baghdad, claiming the lives of 11 soldiers and wounded seven others. Another explosion in the usually stable city of Nassiriya damaged a French consular office.
More people were died in several other blasts and car bombings in towns including Kirkuk, Samarra and Tuz Khurmato.
The government, riven by infighting among Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish political factions, is still struggling to battle Islamist militants and an al Qaeda affiliate nine months after the last U.S. troops left.
Sunni insurgents linked to al-Qaeda have been blamed for much of the recent violence in Iraq but no group has yet claimed responsibility. Tension within its power-sharing government have raised fears of return to widespread violence.