Iraqi police say a suicide car bombing outside a Shi'ite shrine has killed at least 12 people, including eight Iranians, and wounded nearly 40 others.
Police say the attack early Thursday was apparently aimed at Iranian pilgrims traveling in two vehicles. They say the bomber drove his car between the pilgrims' vehicles and detonated explosives near the Maytham al-Tamar shrine in Kufa, southern Iraq.
On Wednesday, the U.S. military warned of a possible increase in car bomb attacks, saying the new al-Qaida in Iraq chief is an expert in vehicle-borne explosives.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki Thursday repeated his call for an independent inquiry into allegations that U.S. soldiers raped an Iraqi girl and then killed her and three family members.
Mr. Maliki said at a Cabinet meeting after this return from a regional tour that U.S. and other foreign troops have committed crimes that anger and sadden Iraqis.
On Monday, a U.S. federal court in North Carolina charged a former U.S. Army private with murder in the case. Other U.S. soldiers also are under investigation.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.