A wave of attacks Tuesday in more than a dozen Iraqi cities killed at least 44 people on the anniversary of the US-led invasion of the country, just days before Baghdad hosts a landmark Arab summit. The violence, which left more than 180 people wounded, bore the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda, which typically attempts to launch coordinated nationwide mass-casualty bombing campaigns. It was swiftly condemned by Iraq's parliament speaker as a bid by the jihadist group to derail this month's summit. Officials said bombings and gun attacks rocked 13 towns and cities spanning the northern oil-rich hub of Kirkuk and the southern shrine city of Karbala from 7:00 am (0400 GMT), in the deadliest violence to strike Iraq in more than two months. In central Baghdad, a car bomb exploded in the parking lot opposite the foreign ministry, despite dramatically heightened security measures in the capital in preparation for the March 27-29 Arab League summit. At least three people were killed and nine wounded, officials said, underscoring concerns over Iraq's ability to maintain security for the meeting. Parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi condemned Tuesday's "brutal criminal" attacks, and said they were part of efforts by Al-Qaeda to "derail the Arab summit, and keep Iraq feeling the effects of violence and destruction." Tuesday's deadliest attacks occurred in Kirkuk and Karbala, where 26 people died in total. In ethnically-mixed Kirkuk, a car bomb targeting a police building killed 13 people and wounded 50 others, according to police Major Salam Zangana. All of the fatalities were police, as were the vast majority of those hurt. The explosion, which was followed minutes later by a smaller car bomb, also badly damaged dozens of police cars. "We have also received parts of bodies, but we do not know who they belong to," said Mohammed Abdullah, a doctor at Kirkuk hospital.