Iraqi authorities say a suicide bomber blew himself up near a Shi'ite Muslim shrine in the southern city of Najaf Thursday, killing at least 30 people and wounding more than 50 others.
Police say the attack took place in a market outside the Imam Ali Shrine - one of the most sacred shrines of Shi'ite Islam.
The offices of Iraq's most respected Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, are also located near the shrine.
Najaf -- located about 160-kilometers south of Baghdad and a major destination for Shi'ite pilgrims - has been the scene of several sectarian attacks over the past years.
In other developments, the U.S. military announced Wednesday the capture of four Iraqi men in connection with the kidnapping of American reporter Jill Carroll, who was held for 82 days before being freed in March.
U.S. Major General William Caldwell said the men were arrested in the Sunni Arab-dominated Anbar province. He said they were picked up in a series of raids after a military officer noticed a house west of Fallujah that Carroll had described.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters