BAGHDAD — The bombing of a Baghdad bus station Thursday pushed the death toll from a weeklong series of blasts near Shiite targets to about 200, calling into question Iraq's ability to provide security as U.S. combat troops slowly withdraw from cities.
The wave of attacks is undermining Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's declaration of a "great victory" in the U.S. pullout from urban areas by Tuesday's deadline. He has declared it a national holiday to be marked with celebrations.
Al-Maliki, a Shiite, has pinned his re-election hopes largely on security gains that have driven violence to wartime lows. Elections are seven months away.
Much of his rhetoric has focused on Tuesday's date, part of a security agreement that calls for American forces to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.
On Thursday, a bombing at a bus station in a Shiite neighborhood in southwest Baghdad killed at least seven people and wounded 31, police said. Another three bombs and a mortar strike killed two others around the capital. Nine American soldiers were wounded in two bombings against a convoy in eastern Baghdad, the U.S. military said. And a bombing killed a man in the northern city of Mosul.
That left the death toll since Saturday at about 200.
A U.S. commander in Iraq said he expected violence ahead of the withdrawal, but was optimistic the brutal attacks of the past would not resume.