Initial death tolls fluctuated widely, with security officials reporting 47 dead, later revised to 34 by Akhil Khazali, the city governor.
Police also imposed a vehicle curfew in the city, which is a magnet for hundreds of thousands of Shia pilgrims across the world who visit the revered Imam Hussein shrine.
“The explosion was a huge one. It took place in a crowded area,” said Khalid al-Daami, head of the Karbala’s city security committee, was quoted as saying on Saturday.
Rescue workers could be seen evacuating casualties, including the body of a child carried away on a stretcher, in footage aired on state television.
Second bridge attack
Police fired into the air to disperse crowds of people and clear the way for more than a dozen ambulances after the bomb exploded.
|The body of a suicide-bombing victim being
taken for burial on Sunday [Reuters]
Also on Saturday, in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, a suicide car bomb exploded on a major bridge, killing at least 10 people, police said.
At least 15 people were wounded in the attack, which occurred on the Jadriyah bridge over the Tigris river.
The extent of damage to the bridge was not immediately clear.
The bombing was the second attack on a major bridge in Baghdad this week.
Eleven people were killed when a suicide lorry bomb collapsed al-Sarafiyah bridge in northern Baghdad on Thursday.
Source: News Agencies