A truck bomb exploded as worshippers left a Shiite mosque in northern Iraq on Saturday, killing at least 63 people and wounding nearly 200 in the deadliest bombing in nearly two months.
The blast near Kirkuk - a city rife with ethnic tensions - came hours after the prime minister insisted US troops will leave Iraqi cities by the end of this month "no matter what happens," but acknowledged more violence was likely.
The Americans already have begun withdrawing combat troops from inner-city outposts in Baghdad, Mosul and other urban areas ahead of the June 30 deadline. But continued assassinations and high-profile explosions have heightened concerns that Iraqi forces are not ready to take over their own security.
Worshippers were leaving the mosque in Taza, 10 miles (20 kilometers) south of Kirkuk, following noon prayers when the truck exploded, demolishing the mosque and several mud-brick houses across the street, according to police and witnesses.