Baghdad (Reuters): At least 14 people were killed and 50 others were injured when two car bombs exploded in streets packed with crowds preparing for the Ramadan fast early on Tuesday, security sources said.

The militant Islamic State (SI) group claimed responsibility for the first blast just after midnight that killed at least 13 people and wounded 40 in the commercial Karrada district.

A few hours later, a second bombing killed one person and wounded 12 more near a government office in Karkh district. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The attackers struck during the month of Ramadan when many people stay up past midnight and eat out to prepare for the next day's fast.

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

IS has been retreating in Iraq since the end of 2015 in the face of US-backed government forces and Iranian-backed Shia 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. IS declared a “caliphate” over parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014.