Authorities in Iraq say at least 33 people have been killed and scores of others wounded as sectarian violence continues across the country.
In the deadliest attack Wednesday, a car bomb exploded near a market in a mainly Shi'ite section of southeastern Baghdad, killing at least 23 people. Authorities say at least six others were killed in separate shooting attacks in the Iraqi capital.
Separately, insurgents ambushed a convoy of unarmed police recruits near the northern city of Kirkuk. Police say at least four recruits were killed and eight others wounded. Authorities say about 70 people were killed in a string of bombings and shootings on Tuesday.
Wednesday's carnage marked the seventh straight day of sectarian violence triggered by the bombing of a revered Shi'ite shrine in Samarra. Hundreds of people have been killed and dozens of Shi'ite and Sunni mosques bombed in reprisal attacks since the February 22 bombing of the Askariya shrine.
In other developments, Sunni and Kurdish leaders say they have decided to ask the ruling Shi'ite alliance to withdraw its nomination of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari for another term.
Analysts say the move is expected to draw sharp opposition from radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
Critics of the prime minister-designate say he is an obstacle to political unity. On Wednesday, a spokesman for the influential Sunni Association of Muslim scholars denounced Baghdad's Shi'ite-led government for failing to prevent the week-long spasm of violence.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.