A suicide bomber attacked Shiite pilgrims in the Iraqi capital on Sunday, killing at least five people and wounding at least 17, officials said.

The blast in the Qahira area of north Baghdad came as pilgrims walked to a shrine to commemorate the death of Imam Mohammed al-Jawad, the ninth Shiite imam.

The bombing came a day after an attack on Shite pilgrims in the Adhamiyah area of Baghdad killed 49 people.

Iraq is home to some of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam, and millions of pilgrims visit them each year.

But crowds of pilgrims are frequently targeted by Sunni militants including those linked to Al-Qaeda, who consider Shiites to be apostates.

Violence is at a level unseen since 2008, and there are persistent fears that Iraq will relapse into the kind of intense Sunni-Shiite bloodshed that peaked in 2006-2007 and killed tens of thousands of people.