Police Lt. Col. Karim al-Zaidi said at least 20 people were killed, 40 injured when a car bomb exploded Monday night in a commercial district of Iraq's second largest city Basra and it appeared many people had been killed and injured, police said.
The blast went off about 8:30 p.m. in a commercial area filled with shops and restaurants, many of them packed with people out for the evening during Ramadan festivities, al-Zaidi said.
Witnesses reported scenes of chaos and rescue vehicles raced to the scene. Dazed survivors, their clothing stained with blood, stumbled in the darkness or wept in despair.
Body parts could be seen on the street, the witnesses said.