A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at a popular Baghdad ice cream shop early on Tuesday, killing 13 people.
The attack in Karrada district in central Baghdad also wounded at least 30 people, officials said.
Videos posted to social media showed chaotic scenes on the streets surrounding the blast. A number of wounded lay on the ground, others propped themselves up on the colourful park benches outside the ice cream shop. One young girl, wearing a ribbon and bow in her hair, wandered the scene dazed.
The attack struck just days into the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast during daylight hours. As families break their fast after sundown, restaurants and cafes in Baghdad quickly fill up.
The officials say the bombing in central Baghdad involved explosives in a parked car that a bomber detonated. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) Amaq website said the suicide bomber targeted a “gathering of Shia”. ISIL considers members of Iraq’s Shia Muslim majority to be heretics and frequently carries out attacks against them.
Last year ISIL used a big truck bomb during Ramadan that killed hundreds of people.
Ramadan is often marked by an uptick in violence in Iraq.
Last year, Baghdad was rocked by a huge truck bomb attack that targeted a popular retail district in the city centre where young people and families were shopping for new clothes ahead of the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.
The blast killed hundreds in the single deadliest event in Baghdad since Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003. ISIL claimed responsibility for that bombing, which ultimately led to the resignation of Iraq’s interior minister.
Monday’s attack comes as Iraqi troops are slowing pushing ISIL fighters out of their last strongholds in the northern city of Mosul.
Iraqi commanders say the offensive, which recently entered its eight month, will mark the end of the ISIL caliphate in Iraq, but concede the group will likely increase insurgent attacks in the wake of military defeats.
Iraq: Baghdad security criticised after string of suicide attacks
Source: AP news agency