A suicide bomber has attacked a checkpoint near the home of Iraq's new prime minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad, local media and police sources said.

"The suicide bomber blew himself up at a checkpoint that leads to the prime minister's house," one of the police sources told the Reuters news agency.

There were no word of casualties. Officials in Abadi's office were not immediately available for comment on the attack. One official said: "We are in a meeting".

Iraq's president nominated Abadi, a low-key figure, as prime minister because he is seen as a moderate Shia, unlike his predecessor Nouri al-Maliki, regarded as an authoritarian and sectarian ruler.

Maliki rejected calls by Sunnis, Kurds, some Shia, power broker Iran and the United States to step aside for a less polarising figure who is capable of uniting Iraqis against Islamic State insurgents who seized large sections of the country.

Although Maliki condemned the appointment of Abadi and said he would "fix the problem", he appeared to back down, urging security forces to stay out of politics.

Source: Reuters