INTRO: The busy livestock market in the Shi'ite town of Hamza is hit in a deadly car bomb blast.
MOREINFO: The attack which claimed at least 12 lives was the deadliest in a day of sporadic violence which continues in Iraq despite a sharp drop in the overall level of violence level since the U.S.- led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003.
The Shi'ite Muslim town of Hamza was the scene of one of Iraq's bloodier attacks of late.
At least 12 people were killed when a car bomb blew up at a busy livestock market in the town 130 kilometres south of Baghdad.
Another 40 have been wounded.
The bombing in Babil province may be linked to feuding local politicians unhappy with the outcome of January's regional elections.
On Wednesday three people were killed and 12 others wounded in a suicide attack in Baghdad.
The bomber, wearing a belt laden with explosives, targeted a police patrol outside the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in the central Karrada district.
Levels of violence have been falling sharply in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.
But bombings and assassinations remain a feature of daily life in many areas.
Iraq security forces are racing against time to prepare for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from the country by the end of August next year.
Paul Chapman, Reuters