Four people were killed and 20 wounded in a car bomb attack on Thursday in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraqi police and medical workers said.
The car was parked at a busy second-hand equipment market in the mainly Shiite district, police said.
An Iraqi military statement said the blast had killed one civilian, wounded 12 others and set several vehicles on fire. A second statement by the military said only one person, the driver, had died. Medics in Sadr City put the death toll at four.
Black smoke rose from the marketplace after the blast and ambulances rushed to save the wounded, witnesses said. Police cordoned off the site of the blast shortly afterward.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. It was the second big deadly bombing to hit Baghdad this year after a suicide attack claimed by Daesh militants killed at least 32 people in a crowded market in January.
Thursday’s attack comes during an election year, a time when tension between rival Iraqi political groups has often caused violence.
The populist cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, after whom Sadr City is named and who commands a following of millions of Iraqis, counts among his enemies both Daesh and rival Shiite parties with militias backed by Iran.
On Wednesday, separate violence linked to regional rivalries saw an explosives-laden drone target US forces at Iraq’s Irbil airport in northern Iraq and a separate rocket attack kill a Turkish soldier at a military base nearby.
There were no casualties in the strike, although it did cause damage to a building in the military part of the airport.
“A drone packed with TNT targeted a coalition base at Irbil airport,” the Kurdish region’s Interior Ministry said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which caused an explosion heard across Irbil.
But a shadowy pro-Iranian group calling itself Awliyaa Al-Dam (Guardians of Blood), which claimed a previous attack on the same airport in February, hailed the strike on the messaging app Telegram.
Leading Kurdish politician Hoshyar Zebari, explicitly blamed pro-Iranian “militia” for the attack.
“It seems the same militia who targeted the airport two months ago are at it again,” Zebari tweeted. “This is a clear & dangerous escalation.”