Another major attack rocked Iraq on Thursday as a suicide car bomber targeted mourners at a crowded public funeral in Baghdad, killing 48 people and wounding 121, according to police.
Perhaps inspired by the recent protests in Tunisia and Egypt, residents then turned their outrage on Iraqi security forces at the site of the explosion, with some angry demonstrators firing guns into the air.
Four separate bombings in the morning killed five more people in various parts of Baghdad.
It was the first time that Iraq's two-week spike in violence had reached the capital, and the first inkling that the anti-government unrest sweeping the Arab world could catch hold in Iraq.
It's amazing how the reality in Iraq has no relationship at all to the rosy assessments of the administration.