Car bombing in Baghdad (file)
Car bombing in Baghdad (file) Reuters

A truck bomb ripped through a market in a Shiite-majority area of north Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 38 people, security and medical officials said, according to AFP. 

The early morning blast in a wholesale vegetable market in the Sadr City area, one of the deadliest single attacks to hit the Iraqi capital in months, also wounded at least 74 people, the officials said.

The bomb went off at around 6:00 a.m. (0300 GMT), peak time for shops buying vegetables for the day.

The bombing devastated the market, killing horses used to transport vegetables, burning vehicles and leaving produce strewn in the street. Medics were at the scene of the blast collecting human remains, an AFPphotographer said. 

Several hours after the blast, the Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in an online statement that it had carries out "blessed operation" in Sadr City. 

ISIS frequently targets Shiites, whom it considers to be heretics. In a bid to cause maximum casualties, the jihadists often strike areas such as markets and cafes where crowds of people gather.

ISIS overran large parts of Iraq in June 2014, and Iraqi forces have been battling to drive the jihadists back with support from a US-led coalition and Iran.