A car bomb exploded on Monday in a town northeast of the Iraqi capital while a bus full of Iranian Shi'ite pilgrims was passing, killing five people and wounding nine, security officials said.
The blast in Muqdadiya, 80 km (50 miles) northeast of Baghdad was the latest in a series of attacks. Four of the dead were Iranian pilgrims, who have flocked to Iraq's Shi'ite religious sites in the hundreds of thousands since the U.S.-led invasion removed Saddam Hussein in 2003.
All of the wounded were Iranian, said a police source and a source in the security operations centre of Diyala province.
Overall violence in Iraq has fallen sharply since the height of sectarian warfare between once-dominant Sunnis and majority Shi'ites in 2006 and 2007, but attacks have risen since an inconclusive election in March and before the end of U.S. combat operations this month.
No coalition won a majority in the March parliamentary election. Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish coalitions have been jockeying for position in the new government ever since.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led bloc is locked in a tussle with the vote leader, the Sunni-backed Iraqiya alliance of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, in the race to head a new government. Five months after the vote, neither side has been able to assemble the necessary majority.
The number of civilians killed in bomb blasts and other attacks soared in July to 396 from 204 the month before, according to Iraqi government figures.
ReutersLast Mod: 16 Ağustos 2010, 16:30