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Bicycle Bomb Kills Five, Wounds 37 In Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- A bicycle loaded with explosives has killed five people and wounded 37 at a popular market in the town of Mussayab, south of Baghdad, police said.

The explosives were stored in a water cooler attached to the bicycle, and women and children were among the dead and wounded, police said.

Mussayab, 60 kilometers south of Baghdad, is home to both Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims, but the town center where the explosion took place is mostly Shi'ite.

The attack carries the hallmarks of Sunni Islamist insurgents such as Al-Qaeda, who often attack crowded, mostly Shi'ite civilian areas.

Overall violence has fallen sharply in Iraq in the last two years, but bomb attacks and shootings remain common. Two suicide bombings killed 155 people and wounded more than 500 in Baghdad last week.

Iraq is due to hold a general election in January, and insurgents are widely expected to try to upset an electoral process that is meant to prepare the way for the withdrawal of most U.S. troops from Iraq.