A suicide bomber targeting Shi'ite pilgrims killed at least 30 people and wounded at least 70 others in southern Iraq on Thursday, Qusay al-Abadi, head of the provincial council in Nassiriya said.

Abadi and local security sources said the attack occurred at a police checkpoint just west of Nassiriya, 300 kilometres (185 miles) southeast of Baghdad.

Police sources initially said the explosion was a roadside bomb.

(Reporting by Suadad al-Salhy; Writing by Serena Chaudhry; Editing by Sophie Hares)