Triple bombing in southern Iraq kills 26

Other News Materials 12 December 2007 15:13 (UTC +04:00)

( AP ) - Three car bombs exploded in quick succession in the mainly Shiite southern city of Amarah on Wednesday, killing at least 26 people and wounding 100, authorities said.

The explosions were about six minutes apart, beginning about 10 a.m. when an explosives-laden car parked in a garage blew up, local police and an intelligence official said.

Another car about 50 yards away exploded shortly afterward as people gathered to examine the damage from the first, police said.

The third blast occurred across the street from a movie theater, also about 50 yards away, police said.

An official at Zahra General Hospital in Amarah said at least 26 people were killed and 100 wounded. The official said the hospital was still receiving new casualties.

The officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details of the attack.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Amarah, a Shiite militia stronghold about 200 miles southeast of Baghdad, has seen violence among rival groups vying for control in Iraq's oil-rich Shiite southern heartland, which has no significant Sunni population.

Al-Qaida is not known to have a significant presence in the region, although the terror group is often blamed for spectacular car bombings elsewhere in Iraq.

The city is the provincial capital of Maysan province, which borders Iran. Iraqi forces took over control of security from British troops there in April. The British are expected to turn over neighboring Basra province, the last area under their control, in mid-December.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was in Basra on Tuesday to discuss reconstruction in the region.