Islamic State Claims Baghdad Car Bombing In Shi’ite Neighborhood, At Least 45 Killed

Iraqi security officials say a car loaded with explosives has been detonated in a Baghdad Shi'ite neighborhood, killing at least 45 people and wounding many more.

The Sunni-led Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility for the February 16 attack in a statement carried online by its Aamaq website.

Aamaq said the attack targeted "a gathering of Shi'a."

The vehicle was parked in Baghdad's Bayaa neighborhood on a crowded street where used-car dealers and auto shops are located.

Iraq's Interior Ministry said 50 to 60 people were wounded.

A doctor said the death toll could rise as many of the wounded were in critical condition.

It was the second-consecutive day that bombs have ripping through car markets in mainly Shi’ite neighborhoods of the capital.

At least nine people killed and 30 wounded in a blast on February 15.

Media reports speculated that militants are finding it easier to leave vehicles with explosives in places where hundreds of other cars are parked.

IS has increased its bombing campaign in Iraq in recent weeks at a time when U.S.-backed Iraqi forces are advancing in their drive to push the Sunni-led extremist group from the cities it has occupied in Iraq and Syria since 2014.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters