BAGHDAD, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- A series of bombs and gunfire attacks across Iraq on Sunday killed some 52 Iraqis and wounded more than 200 others, in what appeared to be an attempt by insurgent groups to destabilize the country and undermine confidence in the Iraqi government.
The deadliest attack in the day occurred near the city of Amara, some 365 km south of Baghdad, when two car bombs exploded at a marketplace near the shrine of Shiite Imam Ali al-Sharqi in the town that holds the name of the Imam, killing 18 people and wounding some 70 others.
Earlier in the morning, a suicide car bomber struck a crowd of security recruits at the compound of Iraq's Northern Oil Company ( NOC) near the city of Kirkuk, killing up to eight recruits and wounding 30 others.
The victims were signing up to be security members at the Iraqi Facilities Protection Service (FPS), which is an Iraqi paramilitary force tasked with site protection of Iraqi government facilities.
NOC is a state-owned company which is responsible for oil exports from northern Iraq.
Also in Kirkuk, a car bomb and a roadside bomb went off in succession before midday near Kirkuk University and a marketplace in central the city, killing seven people and wounding some 50 others.
The ethnically mix province of Kirkuk and its capital Kirkuk City, some 250 km north of Baghdad, are part of the disputed areas between the Kurds and both Arabs and Turkmen.
In southern Iraq, two roadside bombs went off almost simultaneously close to the French consular in Nassriyah in a main street in the central part of the city Nassriyah, some 375 km south of Baghdad, killing four people and wounding six.
Separately, a car bomb went off at a busy marketplace in the al- Qiblah district in the central part of the city of Basra, some 550 km south of Baghdad, killing at least two people and wounding eight others.
In northern Iraq, a booby-trapped car parked outside the office of the Iraqi Turkman Front in the town of Tal Afar, some 70 km west of Nineveh's provincial capital city of Mosul, killing two people and wounding seven.
The Turkmen is the third largest ethnic group in Iraq after the Arabs and Kurds.
In Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, seven people were wounded in a car bomb explosion in Bab-Sinjar district in western the city.
Meanwhile, a police chief and his bodyguard were killed and two policemen wounded when a roadside bomb went off near their convoy of police vehicles in Ishaqi area, some 90 km north of Baghdad.
The police chief was checking the site of a car bomb that was defused earlier by his force at the scene.
Three more car bombs and a roadside bombs separately exploded in north of Baghdad cities of Sulaiman Pek, Tuz-Khurmato and al- Riyadh, killing a total of three people and wounding 18 others.
Near Baghdad, three soldiers were shot dead when gunmen attacked their checkpoint in Abu Ghraib area, some 20 km west of Baghdad, prompting the Iraqi security forces to chase the attackers in the area and killed two of them and captured a third.
In a separate incident, three car bombs went off almost simultaneously in different places in Taji area, just north of Baghdad, killing a civilian and wounding seven others.
In addition, a string of sporadic attacks on Sunday wounded 16 people in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, which stretches from the eastern edges of Baghdad to the Iranian border east of the country.
Observers see that Sunday's attacks are part of an attempt by insurgent groups, including al-Qaida militant group, to show that they are capable of carrying out coordinated and high-profile attacks that could undermine the government's claims of providing security to Iraqis.
Al-Qaida front in Iraq frequently claimed the responsibility of most deadly attacks in the country, raising fears that the terrorist group could return to widespread violence, particularly, as Iraq is trying to avoid the spillover of violence from the ongoing conflict in the neighboring Syria.
Violence and sporadic high profile attacks are still common in the country despite the dramatic decrease of violence over the past few years.