KARBALA: Two bombs within minutes of each other exploded at a restaurant early Wednesday in Iraq's shrine city of Karbala, wounding at least 26 people, police and medical officials said.

The first bomb targeted diners inside the restaurant in the heart of the city, located 110 kilometres (69 miles) south of the capital Baghdad, around 9:00 am (0600 GMT), causing several injuries, police said.

However, a second bomb minutes later, after an ambulance and medics had arrived to help the wounded, caused most of the casualties.

A senior health official for Karbala province told AFP that at least 26 people had been wounded in the attacks.