Iraqi police say three car bomb explosions in the mainly Shi'ite southern city of Amarah have killed at least 40 people and wounded about 125 more.
Police say the blasts detonated in quick succession Wednesday, targeting a garage, a market and a local police station. Many of those killed were bystanders who had gathered at the site of the first blast.
Iraq's southern Shi'ite-majority areas have been largely free from large-scale attacks. But fighting among rival Shi'ite factions in the region has intensified as the British military hands over security responsibilities to Iraqi authorities.
Separately, the U.S. military says coalition forces killed 14 terrorists and detained 12 suspects during operations since Tuesday, targeting al-Qaida-linked militants in central Iraq.
Also today, Bulgaria's government proposed extending the tour of its 120 non-combat troops in Iraq until 2009. The measure must still be approved by parliament and would become effective after the United Nations Security Council passes a resolution to extend the mandate of the multinational forces in Iraq. Bulgarian troops, under U.S. command, help guard the Ashraf refugee camp north of Baghdad.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.