Iraqi officials say a car bomb at a bustling bus station in central Baghdad has killed at least nine civilians and wounded 16.

A police officer says the bomb went off Sunday morning outside the station in the Allawi area. Last Thursday, a suicide bomber blew himself up among a group of security force recruits in same area, killing nearly two dozen.

A medical official confirmed the causality figures. Both spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

Political tensions and violence has escalated in Iraq over the past year. Last year, the country saw the highest death told since the worst of the country's sectarian bloodletting began to subside in 2007, according to United Nations figures. The U.N. said violence killed 8,868 last year.