At least 24 people were killed when a bomb exploded near a Baghdad marketplace on Friday in the latest attack on a mainly Shi'ite neighbourhood since a political crisis erupted in December, police and hospital sources said.

Iraqi authorities blame Sunni Islamist insurgents for attacks targeting Shi'ites in an attempt to stir up the kind of sectarian tensions that pushed Iraq to the edge of civil war in 2006-2007 when violence killed thousands.

(Reporting Kareem Raheem; writing by Patrick Markey)