An Iraqi health official says the death toll from a bomb attack on Shiite pilgrims near the southern port city of Basra has risen to 53 people.
The head of the Basra provincial health directorate Dr. Riyadh Abdul-Amir says hospitals received 53 killed and 137 wounded after the blast. He says some of the wounded are in serious condition, and warns the death toll may rise further.
The explosion was the latest in a series of attacks during Shiite religious commemorations that threaten to further increase sectarian tensions.
The attack occurred near the town of Zubair as pilgrims marched toward a Shiite shrine on the outskirts of the town.