A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a textile factory Monday in a crowd that gathered after two car bombings at the same spot in the worst of a series of attacks that killed at least 84 people across Iraq, the deadliest day this year.
The violence added to fears that political uncertainty could further destabilize the country. More than two months after the March 7 elections, there is still no new government in sight and the negotiations to form one could drag on for months more as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw.
In the worst attack of the day, a suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his belt blew himself up among a crowd of people who were trying to help victims of two car bombs that went off earlier outside a textile factory in the Shiite city of Hillah south of Baghdad, said provincial police spokesman Maj. Muthana Khalid.
At least 45 were killed and 140 wounded, said Khalid and Zuhair al Khafaji, director of al-Hillah general hospital.
Police said the cars were parked outside the factory about 25 yards apart, and were believed to be detonated by remote control. Khalid said the bombs exploded around 1:30 p.m. as workers were leaving the factory.
Hillah, the capital of Babil province, is 60 miles (95 kilometers) south of Baghdad.
The attack was the deadliest in a series of shootings and bombings across the country that began in the capital Baghdad with early morning drive-by shootings and bombings at security checkpoints that targeted police and army.
Other attacks targeted both Sunni and Shiite areas and by mid-afternoon, at least 75 were killed across Iraq, and hundreds wounded.
Violence in the city and the rest of the country has fallen dramatically since the height of the insurgency in 2006 and 2007.