A suicide car bomber blew himself up among a crowd of construction labourers on Sunday, killing at least 22 and wounding 44 in the city of Hilla, south of Baghdad, a doctor said.
"The death toll has risen to 22 and at least seven among the wounded are in a serious condition," Mohammed Dhia, doctor at Hilla hospital said.
The bombing took place in the Bab al-Hussein area in the centre of Hilla at around 7:00 am (0930 IST), a police officer said.
A witness, Haider Ali, 25, said the bomber posed as a contractor looking for daily labourers.
"He (bomber) came to the area asking for labourers and as these dozens of workers gathered around his car, he blew himself up," Ali said.
Another witness, Qaiz Mohammed, said the bomber was a takfiri (extremist).
"Why are they attacking poor people? What do they get by killing poor people. This is the work of takfiris," he said.
Hilla, 120 kilometres south of Baghdad, is a relatively peaceful area in the violent central and western regions of Iraq.
The previous major attack reported in the city was on August 30 when a bomb hidden on a parked bicycle was set off at an army recruitment centre killing 12 army hopefuls and wounding 38 others.