A suicide car bomber struck a busy commercial district Monday, killing at least 23 people and injuring more than 40, police said.
The attack near the well-known Mutanabi book market in central Baghdad was the first major blast in Baghdad in several days. It sent a huge pillar of black smoke above the city as flames spread to shops and cars.
The death toll from police was preliminary and could rise. At least 44 people were injured.
The commercial zone is mixed between Sunni- and Shiite-owned businesses and shoppers.
Sporadic car bombs and attacks have hit the capital in recent days, but none with mass casualties since a blast Friday killed at least 10 people.