Three car bombs exploded in quick succession in the mainly Shi'ite southern city of Amarah on Wednesday, causing numerous casualties, police said.
The violence began about 10 a.m. when an explosives-laden car parked in a garage blew up, local police said. Another car about 50 meters away exploded shortly afterward as people gathered to examine the damage from the first.
The third blast occurred across the street from a movie theater, also about 50 meters away, on Dijla Street, a major commercial road in the city center, police said, adding there were many casualties but the number could not immediately be determined.
Amarah, a Shi'ite militia stronghold about 320 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, is the provincial capital of Maysan province, which borders Iran. Iraqi forces took over control of security from British troops there in April.