Baghdad, Jan 27 (Agencies): Up to 48 people were killed when a massive car bomb ripped through a funeral ceremony in Shiite district of Baghdad on Thursday, which was claimed to be Iraq’s bloodiest day in more than two months.

The attack took place in the afternoon when a booby-trapped car parked near a funeral tent in Baghdad's northwestern neighborhood of Shula was detonated, the source said.

Thursday’s blast was in a spate of violence in the past 10 days and the deadliest in a series of bombings today that also left 121 injured across the city.

An interior ministry official said the car bomb, which exploded outside a tent where mourners were gathered for a funeral ceremony, killed 48 people and wounded 121.

The powerful explosion completely destroyed several cars, while the windows of nearby homes were shattered. Security forces imposed a vehicle curfew.

The surge in attacks, mostly targeting majority Shiite Muslims, comes little more than a month after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki formed a national unity government, ending nine
months of deadlock following elections in March.
   
"They withdrew until a regiment from the army came and started to fire into the air to disperse the crowds," he said, adding that a vehicle curfew had been put into place.

Maliki ordered the arrest of the area's security chief, army Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed al-Obeidi, in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

In other blasts around the capital, five people were killed and 21 wounded by roadside bomb attacks and a bomb placed inside a minibus.

The overall death toll of 53 was the highest for Baghdad since November 2, when 11 car bombs rocked the capital, killing 63 and wounding nearly 300 in predominantly Shiite neighbourhoods.

Those bombings came ahead of a Shiite mourning ritual when hundreds of thousands of pilgrims poured into the city to mark 40 days after the Ashura anniversary commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad.