A series of deadly, co-ordinated blasts across cities in Iraq this morning have killed at least 23 people, maybe more and injuring over 70 people.

These are the first pictures of some of the carnage of roadside bombs and suicide attacks which took place all within the space of around 75 minutes. They were swift and merciless. This is the aftermath of a car bomb in Kirkuk, which killed four and injured twenty. According to police and hospital sources there were five blasts in total in mainly Shi-ite Muslim areas.

The capital Baghdad didn't escape either. In the distance, smoke billows from the scene of another attack on the country's Health Minister as he was bring driven to work. He was unscathed, but 3 bodyguards and 2 civilians were wounded. Labourers and security forces were caught up in more roadside bombs in other districts of the city, killing seven and wounding 20 others.

Tensions remain very high between the multi-faith coalition government of Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds. No-one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, although many sources say the attacks have all the hallmarks of al-Qaeda.