Three explosions, two of them suicide bombings, killed 58 people near Baquba, the capital of Iraq’s restive eastern province of Diyala on Monday, police and medics said.
The blasts came less than a month after a massive suicide attack left at least 120 dead in Khan Bani Saad, which is also in Diyala.
The deadliest of Monday’s bombings was in an area called Huwaydir. Security sources and medics at the main hospital in Baquba said at least 20 people were killed there and 45 wounded, the initial tolls stated.
“A suicide bomber driving a booby-trapped vehicle blew himself up in the middle of the central market area in Huwaydir,” a police lieutenant-colonel said.
Another suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden vehicle past a checkpoint before blowing himself up in Kanaan district, killing at least 10 and wounding the same number, a police captain said.
An improvised explosive device also went off in a neighborhood between Baquba and Huwaydir, killing three and wounding four, the same source said.
It was not immediately clear how many of the victims were civilians.
Following the July 17 bombing in Khan Bani Saad, the provincial authorities had tightened security across the province, especially in Baquba which lies about 70 kilometers (45 miles) north of Baghdad.
The Khan Bani Saad blast came on the eve of the feast marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and shocked the nation.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Monday’s triple bombing, which bore all the hallmarks of the so-called ‘Islamic State of the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group.
Baghdad announced in January that Iraqi forces had “liberated” Diyala, a religiously and ethnically mixed province which was partly overrun by ISIL after the terrorists launched a brutally effective offensive last June.
The takfiris no longer have fixed positions in the province, but have reverted to their old tactics of planting car bombs and carrying out suicide operations or hit-and-run attacks.