Thursday marked another violent day in Iraq, where at least 170 people were killed or found dead in the war-torn country.
Nearly 120 people died in a wave of suicide bombings, including more than 60 in a crowded market in Baghdad's largely Shaab district.
Meanwhile, the United States has rejected Saudi Arabia's denunciation of the U.S. military presence in Iraq. Saudi King Abdullah had called it an "illegitimate foreign occupation."
A White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said it is not accurate to say the United States is occupying Iraq. U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said the Bush administration would seek a clarification from Saudi Arabia on the issue.
The denunciation Wednesday was rare criticism from a key U.S. ally in the region. King Abdullah warned that sectarian bloodshed is leading to a civil war in Iraq.
Burns said it is possible the king's comments could have been misrepresented by the media.
In other news, the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq says the country is "the most critical foreign policy challenge" facing the United States, and that more needs to be done to stabilize the country. Ryan Crocker was sworn in Thursday.
Crocker urged Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to continue taking steps to unify the country.
Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.