At least 54 people are thought to have been killed in a truck bomb explosion in Baghdad and up to 200 have been injured.

The bomb went off in a vegetable market in Sadr City, a Shia majority suburb district North-East from the Iraqi capital.

The device was hidden in a refrigerator at the crowded Jamila market, a police source told Reuters, and went off around 6am (4am British time). Police officer Muhsin al-Saedi told the news agency: "Many people were killed and body parts were thrown on top of nearby buildings."

In the horrific carnage that followed the attack, news agencies reported that up to 60 people have been killed, making this the most severe attack in Baghdad for more than a year.

Shiite residents who were at the scene rushed to help the victims and wounded were taken to at least three different hospitals. According to the AP, dead citizens were taken away in garbage bags used by market workers.

Sadr City, partially due to its Shia population, has been a target for the Islamic State (IS), which is a predominately Sunni extremist group, but nothing has been confirmed about the group behind the attack. Although the city has seen almost daily attacks, the explosion is the biggest disaster since Haider al-Abadi became the Prime Minister of Iraq on 11 August 2014.

The Jamila market is one of the biggest food markets in the capital and is a popular location for locals. "On Thursdays the market is especially crowded because people come from the other provinces to stock up on food for the weekend," a police source told the Associated Press.