At least 23 people were killed and 68 others wounded when three bombs went off in mainly Shi'ite neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital Baghdad today, security and medical sources said.

Two suicide blasts claimed by so-called Islamic State jihadists killed at least 19 people in the commercial district of Bab al-Shargi, a demonstration that the Sunni insurgent group can still launch attacks in the heart of the capital despite government efforts to thwart them.

IS said in an online statement that two fighters wearing explosive vests had targeted police and militia fighters.

A third explosion in the nearby Bab al-Muadham district killed four people, the sources said. A hospital source said the bombs had wounded a total of 68 people.

Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition and Iran have managed to regain significant ground north of Baghdad from IS, which overran swathes of the country in June last year, but much of western Iraq remains outside government control.

Elsewhere, at least nine Yemeni civilians were killed in air strikes by Saudi-led warplanes that targeted the home of a leader in the dominant Houthi movement in the capital Sanaa.             

The leader, Ibrahim al-Shami, was not in the house at the time.

The air raids by a Saudi-led coalition have intensified in recent weeks as a Gulf Arab ground force and fighters loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi prepare a campaign to recapture Sanaa, seized by the Houthis in September 2014.

Residents of the Yemeni capital said warplanes made repeated sorties on Yemeni army bases and the vacant homes of relatives of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, an ally of the Houthis, for several hours last night into this morning.

The deadliest attacks were in al-Jaraf neighbourhood, in northern Sanaa, where warplanes targeted Mr Al-Shami's home.

Medical sources said some of the victims fell when residents, including a journalist from the Houthi-run al-Masirah television, gathered at the site.

Barrel bomb kills three children in Syria

Three children were among at least 11 civilians killed today when a Syrian government aircraft dropped a barrel bomb on a rebel-held neighbourhood of Aleppo, a monitoring group said.

The air raid came a day after rebel mortar fire on government-held areas of the northern city killed 38 people, including at least 18 children, drawing UN condemnation.

The crude explosives-filled container caused four buildings to collapse on residents in the rebel-held Saad al-Ansari neighbourhood, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"Among the dozens wounded, some lost limbs," Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Nine people, including at least two children, were pulled from the rubble after being trapped for five hours.

"The rescue operation was delayed because it's a working-class neighbourhood with narrow streets and there was a power cut," Mr Abdel Rahman said.

Once Syria's economic powerhouse, Aleppo has been ravaged by fighting since the rebels seized the east of the city in 2012, confining government forces to the west.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in government air strikes on rebel-held districts, while hundreds more have been killed by rebel rocket or mortar fire on government-held areas.