A bomb planted on a bus killed 12 and wounded several others near Iraq's holy city of Karbala on Friday, according to reports.

Emergency services were dealing with casualties at a nearby hospital, delivering the wounded to wards and transferring body bags to the morgue.

The bomb was said to have been detonated remotely at an Iraqi army checkpoint north of the city. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, so far.

The bombing took place during a holy period marked by Shias between two religious events: Ashoura and Arbaeen. Karbala, around 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Baghdad, receives visits from Shia pilgrims during this time of year.

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