Iraq's presidential council on Tuesday set March 6 as the date for nationwide parliamentary elections, a seven-week postponement likely to feed concerns about an increase in violence.
The decision on the election date came as a series of coordinated attacks killed at least 118 people in the worst day of violence in the Iraqi capital since October.
Three car bombs struck near government sites in the Iraqi capital, the third time since August that government buildings were targeted by multiple blasts that brought massive casualties. US and Iraqi military officials had warned of the chance of increased pre-election violence aimed at destabilizing the government.
Iraq was able to set the election date only after parliament approved a new law on balloting guidelines during an emergency session convened just before a midnight deadline Sunday.