A bomb killed four people and injured more than 20 others in Basra, the first such attack in years in a part of the country that has enjoyed relative stability.

Explosions have been rare in Basra in recent years, particularly since the defeat of the Daesh group in 2017.
Explosions have been rare in Basra in recent years, particularly since the defeat of the Daesh group in 2017. (Twitter/@saifsalahalhety)

At least seven people have been killed and over 20 injured after car bomb detonates in Iraq's Basra. 

The blast, near a major hospital in the predominantly Shia city, was caused by a motorbike rigged with explosives, the military said in a statement on Tuesday.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"The blast carries fingerprints of Daesh," Basra Governor Asaad al Edani told reporters.

Policemen were collecting body parts from a minibus that was badly damaged by the blast, a Reuters witness said. 

The street was covered with broken glass and blood. The governor announced three days of mourning.

"Today and after this terrorist act, the people of Basra must definitely be cautious and careful.

Basra became unsafe today," said Mohammed Ibrahim, a car mechanic whose workshop was near the blast site

The oil-rich Basra province is relatively calm compared to the country’s northern and western provinces where Daesh still maintains sleeper cells.

'Heinous act of terrorism'

Neighboring Turkey quickly issued a statement condemning the "heinous act of terrorism," also extending its condolences for those who lost their lives and wishing a swift recovery to the injured.

"Regardless of its source, Turkey will continue to stand by the Iraqi people and government in its fight against terrorism," said a Foreign Ministry statement.

Bomb attacks in the Basra area been rare - the last major one was in 2017, and claimed by Daesh. The authorities have kept a tight grip on the area where the bulk of the OPEC member's oil is produced and exported.

Helped by a US-led coalition and Iran-backed forces, Iraq declared victory over Daesh in December 2017, after driving it from swathes of territory.

But the group continues to carry out sporadic attacks, particularly in the north, where it briefly seized a village on Sunday before being driven out.

READ MORE: Escalating violence in Iraq leaves no winners

Source: TRTWorld and agencies