Car bombs kill 23 in central Baghdad: security sources

Two car bombs killed at least 20 people in Baghdad and wounded about 80 others early on Tuesday, security sources said, one targeting the late-night crowds typical of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan who shop and eat ahead of the next day's fast.

Islamic State, the Sunni hardline group that controls parts of Iraq and Syria, claimed both attacks in statements on its Amaq news agency.

A car packed with explosives blew up near a popular ice cream shop in the commercial Karrada district, killing at least 13 people and wounding 40 just after midnight (2100 GMT/5 p.m. ET on Monday).

RELATED: Photos from the tragic incident

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Police tape cordon is seen at the site of a car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION WILL BE PROVIDED SEPARATELY.
People gather at the site of car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
People gather at the site of car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
An Iraqi woman walks past the site of car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
Iraqi women react at the site of car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
Damaged shops are seen at the site of car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
A wreckage of a car is seen at the site of car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
A wreckage of a car is seen at the site of car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
A firefighter inspects the site of car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
A firefighter inspects the site of car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
Iraqi security forces and firefighters gather at the site of car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq, May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
Iraqi security forces and firefighters gather at the site of car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq, May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
Iraqi people gather at the site of car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
An Iraqi man walks past the site of a car bomb exploded near a cafe in Baghdad. May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - MAY 29: People gather around the incident site as security forces cordon the area after a road-side parked car-bomb attack in Karrada district of Baghdad, Iraq on May 29, 2017. At least 11 people are reported dead and 50 injured after the explosion. (Photo by Haydar Hadi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - MAY 29: People gather around the incident site as security forces cordon the area after a road-side parked car-bomb attack in Karrada district of Baghdad, Iraq on May 29, 2017. At least 11 people are reported dead and 50 injured after the explosion. (Photo by Haydar Hadi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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A few hours later, a second bombing killed ten people and wounded 44 more near a government office in Karkh district.

During Ramadan many Muslims stay up until the early hours, going out to spend time with their families, shop and eat before dawn breaks and the next day's fast begins.

Karrada was hit by a massive truck bomb in July 2016 that killed at least 324 people, the deadliest attack in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003.

Islamic State has been retreating in Iraq since the end of 2015 in the face of U.S.-backed government forces and Iranian-backed Shi'ite paramilitary groups.

It is now besieged in an enclave in the northern city of Mosul, which it has used as its de facto capital in Iraq. Islamic State declared from Mosul a "caliphate" over parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014.

(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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