By Mark Memmott
Update at 1:10 p.m. ET: According to the Associated Press, the death toll from today's attacks in Iraq is now close to 100.
Our original post picks up here:
At least 75 people have died in attacks today in Iraq, the Associated Press reports, making it the nation's "bloodiest day of the year so far."
The most carnage occurred at a textile factory in Hillah. After two car bombs were set off and a crowd gathered to help victims, a suicide bomber walked into the scene and set off explosives strapped to his belt. At least 40 people died there and another 135 or so were wounded. Hillah is 60 miles south of Baghdad.
According to the BBC, more than 20 people were also killed "in a series of attacks which included drive by shootings and suicide bombings on police checkpoints and a market."
From Baghdad, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports that "the spike in violence is adding to the anxiety in Iraq as the U.S. military prepares to reduce its presence dramatically, and as Iraqi politicians struggle to form a new government in the wake of inconclusive elections back in March."