A series of attacks in Iraq, including a double suicide car bombing targeting a military base, killed 30 people across the country, officials said.
The deadliest attack took place when the two suicide bombers drove their explosive-laden cars into a military base in the town of Tarmiyah late on Thursday, killing at least 19 soldiers and wounding 41, authorities said.
Soldiers guarding the base opened fire on the first car bomber as he approached, but he still was able to detonate his explosives against a gate protecting the facility, police said.
Two minutes later, the second suicide bomber rammed his car through the gate and exploded when he reached a crowd of soldiers who gathered after the earlier blast, police said.
Tarmiyah, a former rebel stronghold home to Sunnis, is about 50 kilometres north of Baghdad.
Last week, two suicide bombers detonated their explosives-laden belts among a group of soldiers and Sahwa armed group gathered in the orchard of a local Sahwa leader, killing 12, authorities said at the time.
The Sahwa movement, also known as the Awakening Council, was formed by US forces in 2007 to help fight self- described jihadists during the height of Iraqi war.
Ever since, it has been a target for Sunni hard-liners who consider them traitors.
No claim of responsibility
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the dual car bombing on Thursday.
Suicide bomb attacks against security forces are a favourite tactic of al-Qaeda’s local branch. The group has recently escalated its campaign of violence.
Earlier on Thursday, police said a bombing at a tent serving food to pilgrims on their way to Karbala, killed four people and wounded six, police said.
Before that, officials said a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden car at an army post, killing three soldiers and wounding six in the town of Ana, some 330 kilometers northwest of Baghdad.
Police said another bomb blast killed two persons in a town just south of Baghdad.
In the northern city of Mosul, police said a bomb struck an outdoor market on Thursday evening, killing two people and wounding eight.
Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to speak to journalists.
Violence has escalated in Iraq since a deadly security crackdown on a Sunni protest camp in April, with the pace of killing reaching levels unseen since 2008. According to UN, more than 5,500 people have been killed since April.