Baghdad bomb attack
Smoke rises from the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad Reuters

Eighteen civilians were killed when two bombs exploded at a busy market district in central Baghdad on Friday morning.

A blast in the Bab al-Sharqi district was followed by a nearby car bomb, Reuters reported, citing security sources.

The district is home to a large market lies across the Tigris river from the Green Zone, home to government buildings in the Iraqi capital.

30 people were wounded in the blast, according to early reports.

Baghdad has witnessed frequent suicide bombing attacks in the years since US-led coalition invaded the country in 2003. Sunni militants allied with Isis are thought to be behind many of the attacks, although the group has yet to claim responsibility for Friday's attack.

Meanwhile, three policemen were killed when two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a military checkpoint in the city of Samarra on Friday, around 800 miles north of Baghdad.

The city became a focal point for rising sectarian violence in Iraq in 2006 when Sunni militants blew up a religious shrine, revered by Shia Muslims.