Car bomb kills at least 23 in Iraqi capital Baghdad

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 09:20 GMT, Mar 21, 2017 |

A car bomb exploded in the Iraqi capital on Monday, killing at least 23 people and wounding 45 others in a mainly Shia district in southwestern Baghdad.

The attack – as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC – targeted a busy commercial district of the Hay al-Amel suburb, according to police and hospital officials.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, which bore all the hallmarks of a suicide attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

Islamic State has recently intensified its campaign of violence in the capital while a 100,000-strong alliance of Iraqi forces extends its advances against the group in Mosul.

Mosul is Islamic State’s last major stronghold in the country. The group has lost most of the territory it seized in northern and western Iraq in 2014, and ceding Mosul would probably spell the end of its self-styled caliphate.