50 Dead, 172 wounded in series of attacks in Iraq

Baghdad, Mar 19 (EFE).- At least 50 people died Tuesday and 172 were wounded in a series of attacks, mostly in Baghdad, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the U.S. "shock and awe" invasion of Iraq to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime.

An Iraqi police official told Efe that 17 car bombs and two other explosive devices were detonated in a number of Baghdad districts including Kazimiyah, Sadr City, New Baghdad, Hussainiyah and Zafarniyah.

The source, who spoke previously of 38 killed, said the rise in the death toll was due to some of those wounded in the Tuesday morning attacks dying later, but gave no further details.

According to figures provides earlier by the same source, one of the bloodiest attacks was in the southeastern district of Zafarniyah, where the detonation of two vehicles loaded with explosives killed five people and wounded 19.

In the same district, three people died and another nine were injured when a car bomb went off near a popular restaurant.

Besides the car bombs, the capital was hit by a mortar shell and a roadside bomb.

Outside of Baghdad, a suicide bomber blew up a car bomb at the military base in Iskandiriyah, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Baghdad, killing two soldiers and wounding another nine.