A wave of coordinated attacks across 13 Iraqi cities left 103 people dead Monday, making today the bloodiest day in Iraq since U.S. troops pulled out of the wartorn country.
In one incident in the northwest town of Udaim, gunmen killed 13 soldiers on a military base. The attackers arrived at the base in three vehicles and began shooting at soldiers.
The attacks come just days after the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq declared a new mission and warned in a statement that the militant group is reorganizing in areas from which it retreated before U.S. troops left the country last December.
"Al Qaeda is trying to send a message that it is still strong and can choose the time and places to attack," Shiite lawmaker Hakim al-Zamili, a member of parliament's security and defense committee, said Monday.
Al Qaeda has been seeking to re-assert its might in the security vacuum left by the Americans' absence by seizing on Baghdad's fragmented government and the surge of Sunni rebels in neighboring Syria to sow instability across the country.