Three people have been killed and 21 others injured by a car bomb blast south of Baghdad, Iraqi officials said today.
A police officer said the explosion took place in a busy street in the southern city of Hillah where local government offices are located.
He said some Shiite pilgrims were there making their way to the nearby city of Karbala to mark the 7th century death of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson, Imam Hussein. Hillah is about 60 miles (95km) south of Baghdad.
He did not say how many pilgrims were among the casualties. A doctor confirmed the casualty figures.
Shiite pilgrims are one of the favourite targets for Sunni extremists.