A series of coordinated blasts hit Shi'ite districts across Baghdad and south of the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, killing at least 50 people. Another 160 people or more were wounded, according to hospital officials. The attacks come on the 10-year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. Tuesday's car bombs exploded near a busy Baghdad market, close to the heavily-fortified Green Zone, and in other districts across the city. A young bus driver named Ali witnessed one of the blasts. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BUS DRIVER, ALI, SAYING: "The blast happened suddenly. One of the passengers who was sitting beside me was seriously wounded because of shrapnel. My assistant was also wounded. He was taken to hospital." A decade after U.S. and Western troops swept into Iraq, the country still struggles with a stubborn insurgency, sectarian friction and political instability. Sunni Islamist insurgents linked to al Qaeda have stepped up attacks on Shi'ite targets since the start of the year in an effort to stoke sectarian tension and undermine Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government.
Mar. 19 - At least 50 people are killed in a string of explosions in Iraq on the 10-year anniversary of the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. Travis Brecher reports. ( Transcript )
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