A powerful car bomb ripped through the largely Shia neighborhood of Kasra district in Baghdad, killing at least 18 people and wounding another 27, police and medical sources say.
It is unclear as to who is responsible for the deadly attack, although Al Qaeda-linked Sunni terrorists are carrying out near-daily strikes against Shi'ite neighbors in the region.
Apart from targeting local Shi'ites, Al Qaeda's Iraqi branch have also upped a campaign of violence against government and military installations in recent months. More than 5,000 people have been killed and 12,000 injured since January, according to the United Nations, and a reported 800 Iraqis have been killed in the month of August alone.
2013 has seen one of the bloodiest years in Iraq since the US-led invasion of 2003.
The uptick in violence - particularly towards the local Shia-Muslim population - rivals the anti-Shia campaign waged by the founder and former leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in the years immediately following the overthrow of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Now, a resurgent Al Qaeda has drawn on the wave of sectarian hatred fueled by the Syrian civil war to increase its operations in Iraq and Syria, merging with Islamist factions in Syria to become the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (Levant) or ISIS.