Iraq is undergoing a wave of bombing and shootings, predominantly targeting Shia areas and police. Shia government officials blame people linked to Tariq Hashemi for the attacks; however he has denied any involvement. The present Shia-led government under Nour al-Maliki has issued a warrant for the arrest of Tariq al Hashemi, who is the most senior leader of the predominantly Sunni Iraqiya bloc. Al Qaeda usually claims responsibility for most of these incidents.
The blasts come just weeks before the Arab League summit, which has now been postponed. Parliamentary speaker Osama al-Nujaifi stated the attacks aimed to “spark sectarian strife among the Iraqi people and to prevent the Arab League meeting from being held”.