Some 40 people were reported wounded in the explosion in Kufah, a religious center on the outskirts of the city of Al-Najaf.
Police said the bomb went off early today close to the Shi'ite Maitham al-Tamar shrine.
Many of the victims were reportedly Iranian pilgrims.
(compiled from agency reports)
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SUNNI, SHI'A: Iraq is riven along sectarian lines, faults that frequently produce violent clashes and are a constant source of tension. Sectarian concerns drive much of Iraqi politics and are the main threat to the country's fragile security environment.