Car bomb kills 15 near Baghdad church

APA woman lights a candle among pictures of slain Iraqi Christians at Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad, Iraq, which was attacked in 2010

At least 15 people have been killed after a car bomb was detonated close to a Baghdad church as members of the congregation were leaving a Christmas Day service.

The bomb exploded in the Dora district of the city and has wounded at least 28 people.

According to the BBC, police have said that most of the victims were Christians and no one has yet claimed responsibility.

Christmas has become a tense occasion for Iraqi Christians in the last decade as they have become the target of extremists, triggering a mass exodus of believers from the country.

More than 50 people died in an attack by gunmen on Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad in 2010.

Heavy security and patrolmen with guns have become commonplace at Iraqi churches as they try to protect themselves from further attacks.