Three years on and far from signs of the conflict in Iraq ending there are warnings of civil war.
Eight people, including a boy and his parents, were among the latest victims. They were killed in disputed circumstances in fighting between US forces and insurgents near Ramadi.
The third anniversary of the invasion has been marked by more widespread violence.
An offensive involving US and Iraqi forces is continuing in Samarra. More than 60 suspected insurgents have been detained in the operation.
It was in Samarra last month that the bombing of a Shi’ite shrine pushed the country deeper into internal conflict.
There were reprisals against Sunni targets and tensions between the two communities remains high.
Former Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi has said the country is already in civil war – a view rejected by President Jalal Talabani.
But an attack in Kerbala today appears to underline the point.
Missiles were fired at the holy Shi’ite city at the height of a religious festival attended by hundreds of thousands of pilgrimsNo one was injured as the rockets missed the crowds.
Against the backdrop of sectarian tension efforts continue to create a unity government that, it is hoped, will eventually bring stability to the country.