Baghdad : A total of 18 people were killed and 44 others were wounded in car bombings in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala, a provincial security source told Xinhua.
In one attack, 10 civilians were killed and 40 others wounded when a booby-trapped car was detonated at a busy marketplace in a village near the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, the source said on condition of anonymity on Monday .
The huge blast destroyed several shops and many stalls at the market along with damaging several nearby cars and buildings, the source said.
Iraqi security forces were deployed in the village to secure the area after dozens of angry residents gathered at the blast scene, the source added.
In a separate incident, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a security checkpoint and blew it up at the entrance of the town of Kanaan, some 20 km northeast of Baquba, leaving five policemen, two government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group members and a civilian dead, the source said.
Four civilians who were passing the checkpoint were also wounded in the blast, the source added.
The Sahwa groups, or the Awakening Councils, consists of armed groups including some powerful anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent groups, who turned their rifles against the al-Qaida network after the latter exercised indiscriminate killings against both Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities.
Diyala province, which stretches from the east edges of Baghdad to the Iranian border, has long been the stronghold of al-Qaida militant groups and a hotbed of insurgency and sectarian violence after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
The security situation in Iraq has drastically deteriorated since June 2014, when bloody clashes broke out between security forces and Islamic State militants.