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 endured major simultaneous attacks.
It was not immediately clear whether the attacks were related. Each year on this anniversary date, Iraq has seen an uptick in attacks. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the latest wave of strikes.
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.
Change can be seen in the once war-torn nation. A robust form of democracy has taken hold. Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds and others often work together. There is more political, economic and social stability. Coalition forces that ousted Saddam Hussein's government have departed.
And the level of carnage has dropped considerably since the worst sectarian unrest during the height of the Iraq War. But the violence is a reminder that the gains in the post-Hussein society can unravel.
Recent attacks in Shiite areas have spread fear among Iraqis that sectarian warfare between Sunnis and Shiites may ravage the country again. Attacks targeting the Justice Ministry last week left 30 dead and 50 wounded in strikes authorities suspect were carried out by al Qaeda in Iraq.
Sunnis had more political clout during Hussein's reign. The Shiites and the Kurds, the other two main groups, were second-class citizens. Since Hussein was toppled, the tables have turned. Shiites -- the largest religious group in the country -- predominate in government. The Kurdish semiautonomous region in the north, and the Kurds themselves, have more clout.
Today, Sunnis feel they've been politically marginalized. Sunnis demand that the Shiite-led government stop what they call negative treatment of Iraq's Sunni community.
Sunnis largely boycotted Iraq's 2005 elections, leading to the emergence of a Shiite-led government. The move left the once-ruling minority disaffected.
The deteriorating security situation prompted authorities to postpone provincial council elections scheduled for April in the predominantly Sunni provinces of Anbar and Nineveh.
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