An explosion destroyed a house in Iraq's southern city of Basra overnight and Iraqi police said on Monday eight people had died.
Reuters television footage showed rescue workers pulling bodies from the rubble of a house that had been completely destroyed. Relatives wailed in grief and children picked through the rubble.
Neighbours said they believed the blast was caused by a US air strike, but British forces, responsible for US and British military activity in the area, denied any role and said they had no explanation for the blast.
"Coalition and Iraqi security forces were not involved in the incident," they said in a statement.
Basra has seen numerous US air strikes over the past two weeks since Iraqi security forces launched a crackdown on Shi'ite militia last month. (Reuters)
Eight people killed in a blast in Iraq