BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed 30 people and wounded at least 18 in an attack on a bus in a busy Baghdad bus station on Thursday, police said.
The vehicle was about to leave the Nahda bus station in the city center for the Shi’ite city of Nassiriya when the bomber got on board and detonated his explosives, they said.
It was the second big blast in three days in the capital, a week before a parliamentary election, and followed a similar attack on the bus station in August, when bombers targeted buses headed for Shi’ite dominated southern Iraq.
"I was standing near when the blast happened," one man told Reuters television as he stood in front of the mangled wreckage of the vehicle. "I saw only seven or eight people wounded and all the remaining people inside the bus were killed."
Firefighters pulled charred bodies from the debris and loaded them into waiting ambulances as police tried to restore order around the site of the blast.
The attack came exactly a week before Iraqis go to the polls to elect their first full-term parliament since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Security forces are braced for a spike in violence ahead of the vote.
Two days ago, two suicide bombers killed at least 36 people at a police academy in Baghdad in one of the worst attacks of its kind for weeks.