Iraqi officials say a bomb explosion near a Sunni mosque near Baghdad has killed three worshippers and wounded seven.

Police say that the bomb went off after Friday prayers as worshippers were leaving the al-Sultan mosque in Mahaweel, 55 kilometers (35 miles) south of the capital.

A hospital official confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Attacks on mosques, especially where Sunnis worship, have been on the rise recently. Iraqi officials have warned that insurgents are trying to take advantage of the country's political and sectarian turmoil by targeting mosques in an attempt to reignite civil strife in the country.