Police in southern Iraq said that a suicide bomber killed at least 42 people and wounded 157 others Sunday when he detonated an explosive-filled minibus at a crowded security checkpoint, according to Voice of America.
The attack comes a few weeks before scheduled elections. About 50 cars that were waiting at the checkpoint during morning rush hour were set ablaze, killing those trapped inside. The dead included 15 security personnel, two police officers said.
The bombing took place at the northern entrance to the Shi'ite-dominated city of Hillah, about 100 kilometers south of Baghdad.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the bombing, but it is seen as the latest attack by insurgents bent on destabilizing the country.
Iraq has been experiencing its worst violence in recent years, made worse by widespread discontent among the Sunni minority and by the civil war in neighboring Syria. More than 1,400 people have been killed this year.
Police said the victims’ burns suggested that the car that exploded had also been packed with gasoline, or another liquid fuel.