A car packed with explosives has blown up in the south of Baghdad, killing at least 55 people and wounding dozens more.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack, which came amid a renewed wave of violence in the Iraqi capital.

Baghdad was rocked by a wave of deadly suicide bombings during the first days of 2017, but relatively few explosions had been reported since.

Security sources said the vehicle that blew up was parked in a crowded street full of garages and used car dealers, in Bayaa neighbourhood in the southwest of the city.

Iraqi officials said the bomb targeted car dealerships in the mostly Shia neighbourhood.

The site of the bombing was an open space used as a second-hand car market where hundreds of private sellers park their vehicles and wait all day to discuss prices with prospective buyers.