A car bomb exploded Saturday in a bus station in the Shi'ite holy city of Karbala, and at least 56 people were killed or wounded, police said.
At least 70 people were wounded in the attack.
State television aired footage from the scene, in which rescue workers could be seen evacuating casualties. The charred body of a child laid motionless on a stretcher.
Hundreds of people swarmed around ambulances, crying out and pounding their chests in grief.
The attack occurred about 200 meters from the Imam Hussein shrine, where the grandson of Islam's Prophet Muhammad is buried - one of the most important sites for Shi'ites.
Witnesses said as many as 15 ambulances rushed to the area, and police were firing into the air to disperse crowds and clear roads for emergency vehicles.
Karbala lies 80 kilometers south of Baghdad, and is the destination of an annual Shi'ite pilgrimage. Hundreds of Shi'ite faithful were killed traveling back and forth to the city during this year's pilgrimage, which took place last month.
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