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Suicide Bomber Blows Up Crowded Bus in Baghdad 

A suicide bomber has killed at least 30 people and wounded nearly 20 others on a bus in Baghdad. The bus was crowded with people, traveling to the mostly Shi'ite city, Nasiriyah, southeast of Baghdad.

The bus was about to depart the al-Nahda station in the east Baghdad town of Rusafa, early Thursday, when the attack occurred.

Witnesses told police that they believe a suicide bomber, wearing an explosive belt, climbed onto the bus minutes before the explosion.

The bus station is a major hub for vehicles traveling to and from the mostly Shi'ite cities in the south of the country. In August, three car bombs exploded at the station, killing more than 40 people.

Suicide attacks have been on the rise ahead of crucial national elections in Iraq next Thursday. The al-Qaida in Iraq terrorist group has claimed responsibility for several of the large attacks.