A massive car bomb ripped through a used car market in southern Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 55 people and wounding more than 60 in the deadliest such attack this year, Iraqi officials said.
Interior ministry spokesman Brig Gen Saad Maan confirmed the toll from the attack, which took place in the mainly Shiite al-Bayaa neighborhood.
The Islamic State group claimed the bombing in an online statement circulated by its Aamaq news agency. The Sunni extremist group said it was targeting Shiites.
Mobile phone footage circulated on social media showed charred bodies and extensive destruction in the Bayaa neighbourhood where the explosion went off around 4.15pm.
Earlier, in a statement, a spokesman for the Baghdad Operations Command said a terrorist car bomb attack struck near car dealerships in Bayaa and resulted in the deaths of at least 45 people.
An interior ministry official said the emergency services were struggling to cope with the scope of the attack and warned that the death toll may rise.
The explosion occurred in the same Bayaa neighbourhood where a car bomb blast killed at least four people on Tuesday.
Another four attacks in and around Baghdad on Thursday killed eight people and wounded around 30, police and medical officials said on condition of anonymity.
At least 11 people were also killed in a suicide car bomb attack claimed by the IS on Wednesday in a northern neighbourhood of the Iraqi capital.
Baghdad was rocked by a wave of deadly suicide bombings during the first days of 2017 but relatively few explosions had been reported since then until this week.