Islamic State car bomb kills 15 at Baghdad ice cream parlour
Images posted on social media show ice cream cups scattered on blood-stained ground
At least 15 people have been killed and more than 30 injured after a car bomb planted by Islamic State exploded outside a popular Baghdad ice cream parlour.
The bomb detonated in the largely-Shia Karrada district of the city just after midnight on Monday night. The cafes and restaurants were crowded with people of all ages venturing out to break their Ramadan fast.
CCTV footage posted on Twitter by journalist Bassam Sebti purports to show the moment the rigged vehicle detonated:
Witnesses described a gory scene in the aftermath of the blast, Al-Jazeera reports, with images posted on social media showing ice cream cups scattered on the blood-stained floor of the parlour.
Video footage taken moments after the explosion shows scenes of panic, with distraught survivors bent over motionless bodies as a fire rages in the background.
Hours later, at around 9am local time, a second car bomb blast near the city's Martyrs' Bridge killed at least five more people.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news service, saying that a suicide bomber affiliated with the group had triggered the bomb to target "a gathering of Shia".
Islamic State militants follow an ultra-hardline interpretation of Sunni Islam that sees members of the Shia sect as apostates to be eradicated.
Middle East analyst Hayder al-Khoei told Al Jazeera that IS "timed Tuesday's attack to cause maximum impact".
The terror group is slowly being driven out of the city of Mosul, its last stronghold in Iraq, by a coalition of Iraqi government troops, regional Shia militias and Kurdish fighters.
Iraqi commanders are confident that Islamic State's days in the region are numbered, but "concede the group is likely to increase attacks in the wake of military defeats," says The Guardian.
Insurgent attacks often increase in prevalence and ferocity during the month of Ramadan, which began on Friday, in a twisted interpretation of the common belief that "good deeds" carried out during the holy month of fasting are met with increased divine reward.
An IS truck bomb which ripped through a packed market in the same district during last year's Ramadan killed 300 people, making it the deadliest attack in Baghdad since Saddam Hussein was ousted from power in 2003.