5 killed, 21 injured in car bomb explosion in Iraq's Baghdad

BAGHDAD, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Up to five people were killed and 21 others wounded on Thursday in a car bomb explosion in a crowded area in eastern Baghdad, a source with the Interior Ministry said.

The explosion occurred in the afternoon when a car bomb detonated near a marketplace in al-Habibiyah area in Sadr City, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

"The casualties from the car bomb in eastern Baghdad increased to five killed and 21 wounded," the source said, citing the latest reports.

The huge blast destroyed several nearby shops and set fire to five civilian cars, the source said.

Iraqi security forces blocked the roads leading to the explosion site while ambulances evacuated the killed and wounded people to nearby hospitals and medical centers, the source added.

Deadly bombings have been rare in Baghdad, as the security situation has improved in Iraq since the Iraqi security forces fully defeated IS militants across the country late in 2017.

However, sporadic deadly incidents still occur in the war-ravaged country as IS remnants have since melted into urban areas or deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.