An explosive-rigged car was detonated near a restaurant in the city of Najaf, the Kuwait news agency KUNA reported.
The 23 injured were taken to a local hospital for treatment, police said.
Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces arrested 15 people said to be members of al-Qaida, KUNA said. The arrests came during two raids in the towns of Latifiyah and Arab Jabbour.
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