Death toll from Baghdad bombs reaches 28

Suicide bombers targeted a crowded market in Baghdad's Tayaran Square.
Suicide bombers targeted a crowded market in Baghdad's Tayaran Square.

Islamic State militants could have launched a twin suicide bombing that killed at least 28 people in a Baghdad market, Iraq's civil defence chief says.

The Iraqi military said two attackers wearing explosive vests blew themselves up among shoppers at a crowded market in Tayaran Square in central Baghdad on Thursday.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"Daesh terrorist groups might be standing behind the attacks," Civil Defence chief Major General Kadhim Salman told reporters, using the Arabic name for Islamic State.

The hardline Sunni Muslim group captured vast areas of Iraq and imposed its own rule before being defeated in 2017 by Iraqi forces backed by Allied air power.

Speaking at the scene of the bombings, Salman said the death toll had risen to 28 from 23 initially reported, with 73 more people wounded.

Police sources said Iraqi security forces had been deployed and key roads blocked to prevent possible further attacks.

Suicide bombings were once common in Baghdad but have been rare in the Iraqi capital since Islamic State was driven out.

The last deadly suicide blast in the city, also at Tayaran Square, killed at least 27 people in January 2018.

Militants from the group remain in Iraq, waging an insurgency against Iraqi forces and attacking local officials in areas of northern Iraq.

Government and military officials no longer consider Islamic State able to take over significant territory but say the organisation will continue to wage attacks that threaten Iraq's stability and security.

Iraqi forces continue to fight remaining Islamic State militants and are working to secure the border with Syria across which the group has often moved personnel.

Australian Associated Press