Attacks claim 48 lives on Iraq anniversary

Posted at 9:18 AM, Mar 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-19 09:18:45-04

Baghdad (CNN) — At least 48 people died and scores were wounded when bombs exploded across Iraq on Tuesday — the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion.

The attacks — 17 car bombs, seven roadside bombs, and two shootings — rippled mostly through Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad. It’s the second time in less than a week that Baghdad has endured major simultaneous attacks.

Each year on this anniversary date, Iraq has seen an uptick in attacks. The level of carnage has dropped considerably since the worst sectarian unrest in 2006-07 during the height of the Iraq War, but the violence is a reminder that the political and economic gains in the post-Saddam Hussein society can unravel.

Ten years on, the war has left more than 134,000 Iraqis and more than 4,800 U.S. and other coalition service members dead. The war cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

“It remains entrenched and pervasive, with a clear beginning but no foreseeable end, and very much a part of the present in Iraq,” said Iraq Body Count, a UK-based group that tracks war deaths.

“In major regions of the country armed violence continues to exact a remorseless toll on human life, young and old, male and female, across society.”

The armed violence took its toll in Tuesday’s latest wave of violence.

Car bombs rocked Baghdad neighborhoods long engulfed in conflict, like Shulaa and Kadhimiya. They struck Mustansiriya University in eastern Baghdad and the heavily fortified Green Zone, where the city’s international presence is concentrated. They hit cities north and south of the capital as well. Authorities defused four car bombs in the southern city of Basra.

Attackers set off roadside bombs, another potent weapon for Iraqi insurgents and a defining symbol of the war. One of those bombs rattled the teeming Shiite slum of Sadr City.

It was not immediately clear whether the attacks were related. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the latest wave of strikes.