17 Die After Baghdad Blast Strikes Wedding Party

A car bomb exploded in front of a photo shop where a wedding party had gathered in a southern Baghdad neighborhood Thursday killing at least 17 people and wounding 28, police and hospital officials said.

The bomb in the Shiite district of Abu Dshir went off at 6:45 p.m. while dozens of relatives and friends of a bride and a groom waited as the couple walked in to take a wedding picture, according to police.

The blast ripped through those waiting outside, killing 17 people and wounding 28, said a police official at the nearest police station. An official at Yarmouk hospital, where the victims were taken, confirmed the toll and said the bride and groom were among those wounded, with minor injuries.

Both officials spokes on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

Abu Dshir is a Shiite enclave in Baghdad's lawless, mainly Sunni neighborhood of Dora. Explosions and mortar attacks in the area have been common in the past months leaving hundreds of people killed or wounded.