Car bombs and a suicide blast hit Shi'ite districts of Baghdad and south of Iraq's capital on Tuesday (March 19), killing at least 50 people on the 10th anniversary of the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

The car bombs exploded near a busy Baghdad market, close to the heavily fortified Green Zone and in other districts across the capital. A suicide bomber driving a truck attacked a police base in a Shi'ite town just south of the capital, police and hospital sources said.

Another 160 people were wounded in the attacks, hospital officials said.

In a poor Shiite neighbourhood, five people were killed and 12 others wounded in an attack targeting civilians in Sadr City.

Further north of the capital, a parked car bomb killed four people and wounded 16 others when it exploded in a popular vegetable market in Shulla district.

Seven people were killed and 24 others wounded in two separate attacks targeting civilians in the Zaffaranyia district in southern Baghdad, police said.

No group claimed responsibility for Tuesday's blasts, but Iraq's al Qaeda wing, Islamic State ofIraq, has vowed to take back ground lost in its long war with American troops. Since the start of the year, the group has carried out a string of high-profile attacks.

A decade after U.S. and Western troops swept into Iraq, the country still struggles with a stubborn insurgency, sectarian frictions and political instability among its Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions.

Sunni Islamist insurgents tied to al Qaeda have stepped up attacks on Shi'ite targets since the start of the year in a campaign to stoke sectarian tension and undermine Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government.

Presented by Adam Justice