Iraqi hospital and police officials say 18 people were killed and 45 wounded when a car bomb exploded in central Baghdad.

The car bomb attack early Sunday targeted the Karada district, a crowded commercial area frequented by young people and families after sundown during the holy month of Ramadan.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it bears the hallmarks of the Islamic State group which often targets civilians in Baghdad's mostly Shiite neighborhoods.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

Despite a string of territorial gains by Iraqi ground forces against IS, the extremist group has repeatedly shown it remains capable of launching attacks in Iraqi territory far from the front-lines.

IS still controls Iraq's second largest city of Mosul.