Basra: A car bomb blew up near a Shi`ite mosque in the southern oil hub of Basra Thursday, killing four people and wounding dozens, security officials said, as a wave of blasts killed at least 14 across Iraq.
The bomber targeted people as they emerged from the Dawood al-Ashoor mosque in southern Basra`s Abu Khasib district, according to Ali Ghanim al-Maliki, head of the Basra Provincial Council security committee, who put the toll at four dead and 34 wounded.
Maliki said the car bomb was parked nearby but other security sources said it was detonated by a suicide bomber.
A hospital source said the blast in Basra, 420 km (260 miles) south of Baghdad, killed three and wounded 50.
"The explosion happened in a garage which was near this mosque and parts of the car that exploded fell into my house," said Laith Hial, a resident near the Basra blast site.
The explosion set fire to nearby cars and shops, a police officer at the scene said.
More than eight years after the US-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein, Iraq is plagued by Sunni Islamist insurgents and Shi`ite militias that launch bombings and other attacks daily.
A series of car bombs and suicide blasts across Iraq wounded scores of people in addition to the 14 deaths. Several of the bombings hit security forces.
Insurgents often target the police and army in a bid to destabilize the Iraqi government as it tries to decide whether it wants US troops to stay past a year-end deadline for their departure.
In the city of Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of the Iraqi capital, a car driven by a suicide bomber exploded at a police checkpoint, killing four police officers and wounding five others, a local police source said.
In another Falluja attack, three Iraqi soldiers were wounded when a roadside bomb blew up near their patrol, a police source said.
In the town of Garma, 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Baghdad, three policemen died and five were wounded in two explosions -- the first when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest and the second when a car bomb blew up, police said.
In northeastern Baghdad, a parked car bomb exploded near an Iraqi army patrol, killing one person and wounding 14 others, including 10 soldiers, an Interior Ministry source said.
Another person died in a sticky bomb attack in Baghdad and a soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in Mosul.