–Iraqi and U.S. soldiers secure the site of Tuesday’s bomb blast on Cairo Street in northern Baghdad. (Photo by Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)
More than 100 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in a series of coordinated car bombings across Baghdad Tuesday morning. At least five bombs, including three suicide bombers, detonated shortly after 10 a.m. near the Labor Ministry, the Finance Ministry, Mustansiriya University, a court complex, a mosque and market.
The New York Times reports that American airplanes, drones and helicopters spent the morning circling the city, high above the black smoke that engulfed the targeted areas. Gunfire was heard near one of the sites, close to the city’s main courthouse, zoo and other amusement areas.
The attacks came as Iraq’s Presidency Council announced March 6 for the country’s parliamentary elections, and they mark the third time since August that government buildings have been targeted.
Though officials have yet to provide evidence linking the attacks to a specific group, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki blamed the attacks on al-Qaida and leftovers of the Baath Party, reported to the Times.
The Washington Post has a detailed map of the bombings, and link to maps of past attacks.
We’ll have more about the bombings in Baghdad on tonight’s program.
In other news, President Barack Obama plans to announce a new plan for tackling the deficit and easing unemployment during a speech Tuesday morning at the Brookings Institute in Washington. He is not, however, expected to detail programs or spending figures in his speech, [the Post reports](http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/07/AR2009120704125.html). Also this morning, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry face Congress to explain to skeptical lawmakers how a surge of 30,000 soldiers will turn around the war. On Monday’s NewsHour, Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff, talked to Jim Lehrer about President Obama’s new strategy in Afghanistan. You can watch [that interview here](http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/july-dec09/mullen_12-07.html).