REUTERS, BBC NEWS
BAGHDAD – A spate of car bombs and shootings killed at least 56 people and wounded more than 200 in Baghdad, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein.
Reuters reports that several car bombs hit Shi'ite districts of Baghdad on Tuesday morning -- targeting busy areas including a market, sidewalk cafes, and bus stops – while a suicide bomber driving a truck attacked a police base in a Shi'ite town just south of the capital.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks. Sunni Islamists tied to the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda have launched a number of high-profile bombings this year.
The violence comes almost exactly a decade after U.S. and Western troops swept into Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein, and shows the country still struggling with insurgency, sectarian conflict and political instability among its Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions.
According to BBC News’ Baghdad correspondent Jim Muir, Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki -- who is nearing the end of his second term -- is sharply at odds with the Kurds, who have their own autonomous region in the north, while Sunni areas in the west of the country are also in revolt against Maliki's government.