As many as 20 people were killed and 54 wounded Saturday when a suicide bombing tore through an election rally in the city of Baquba, the capital of Diyala province in eastern Iraq.
The attack occurred around noon when a suicide bomber blew up his explosive vest at a rally of the election campaign of Muthanna al-Jourani, a candidate for the secular bloc of Iraqia, in Baquba, some 65 km northeast of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua.
"Our reports said that 20 people were killed and 54 wounded by the attack," said the source.
The toll could rise as ambulances and civilian cars evacuated the wounded to the different hospitals and medical centers in the city.
Jourani himself was among the wounded, along with many local dignitaries and politicians.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
But such bombings were apparently an attempt by insurgent groups to stir up sectarian strife among Iraqis ahead of the country's provincial elections scheduled for April 20.