BAQUBA: Attacks in Iraq’s confessionally mixed Diyala province, north of Baghdad, killed 18 people on Thursday, 10 of them in a market bombing in the town of Khalis, medical and security officials said.
The bloodshed came as US Vice President Joe Biden was in Iraq to usher in a new phase in relations between Washington and Baghdad nearly nine years after the US-led invasion.
“We counted 10 bodies and at least 20 wounded in the explosion of a car bomb parked near a vegetable market in Khalis,” an Iraqi army colonel said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The casualty toll was confirmed by a medic at the main hospital in the Diyala provincial capital, Baquba.
“We received 10 bodies and admitted 25 wounded. Two policemen were among them,” said Dr Firaz al-Dulaimi.
In a separate attack, gunmen using silencers raided three homes in the Diyala village of Jil al-Said, south of Baquba, killing eight people, among them two commanders of an anti-Qaeda militia and members of their families, the army colonel said.
They killed five people in one house, three in a second and wounded five in the third, the officer said.