At least 12 people have been killed and five others wounded in a blast from a bomb planted on a bus near the Iraqi city of Karbala.
Two police spokesmen at the blast site told Reuters News Agency that an explosive device planted on the bus detonated at a northern entrance to the city, setting fire to the vehicle.
The device was then detonated remotely at an Iraqi Army checkpoint. and the explosion occurred as the bus was passing through the checkpoint, about 10 kilometerssouth of Karbala in the direction of the town of al-Hilla.
International media reported that before the blast, a passenger exited the minibus but left a bag containing explosives under one of the seats. The device was then detonated remotely at the checkpoint.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. It took place during a holy period marked by Shiites in Iraq between two important religious events, Ashoura and Arbaeen.
This was one of the biggest attacks targeting civilians since the extremist Islamic State group was declared defeated inside Iraq in 2017.