A car bomb in a crowded Baghdad intersection during morning rush hour today killed 15 people and wounded at least 37, security and medical officials have said.

The blast in Baghdad Jadida left a shallow crater at the intersection and lines of burned and twisted cars still sitting where they were waiting when the explosion struck.

Blood stained a nearby sidewalk, and people worked to clear away the debris from shop fronts smashed by the explosion.

Militants in Iraq frequently target crowded areas, including cafés, markets and mosques, in an effort to cause maximum casualties.

Yesterday, a suicide bomber detonated explosives at a Shia place of worship in Baghdad Jadida, killing 11 people.

Iraq is struggling to retake large areas overrun by a major jihadist-led militant offensive launched in June.

Islamist State militants have seized Mosul and swept through the country's Sunni heartland.