Multiple blasts at a passport and identity card office in the Iraqi shrine city of Karbala killed at least nine people on Sunday, part of nationwide violence that left 12 dead.
The series of explosions in the central city also wounded nearly 100 people and caused major damage to buildings, leading security forces to cordon off the scene and close all entrances to Karbala.
An initial roadside bomb at 9:30 am (0630 GMT) in the centre of the city, 110 kilometres (70 miles) south of the capital, was followed by three more blasts once emergency services arrived, according to a police officer and a provincial government official.
“The bomb attacks in Karbala today have so far killed nine people and there are 99 people wounded,” said Alaa Hammudi, head of Karbala province’s health department. He warned that the toll could rise further.
An AFP journalist at the scene reported seeing several bodies covered in blood being taken away by paramedics, and major damage to buildings, with some houses completely collapsed.