A suicide bomber has driven a minibus packed with explosives into a busy café in Baghdad, killing at least 38 people and wounding 45 others.
The attack, in a mainly Shi’ite Muslim district of the capital, came on a day of violence across the country which claimed a total of 45 lives.
The bombing on Sunday evening happened at a café popular with young people.
A policeman said: “The cafe was full of people watching a soccer game and others smoking shisha (water pipe) when a minibus drove over the pavement and exploded right at the entrance to the café.
“At first people in the cafe thought it was a drunk driver, until the blast tore them apart, covering the ground with chunks of human flesh and severed limbs.”
Violence in Iraq is increasing, with more than 7,000 people being killed this year, according to the monitoring group Iraq Body Count.
The sectarian tensions in Iraq have been worsened by the Syrian civil war, which has drawn Shi’ite and Sunnis into battle.
In other attacks on Sunday, a car bomb targeted a police officer’s house in a village north of Baghdad, killing his father, brother and five nephews. Six others were wounded in the blast, which happened when the officer was not at home.
Security forces, meanwhile, foiled an attack on the local council of the western town of Rawah by five would-be suicide bombers disguised in police uniforms.
Two attackers were shot while the rest blew up themselves up outside. Two police officers and an official were killed, while 20 people were wounded, according to police officials.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday’s attacks, though car bombings and shootings are tactics of al Qaeda’s local branch.
It frequently targets Shi’ites, whom it considers heretics, and those seen as closely allied to the Shi’ite-led government in Baghdad.