Bomb blast kills four in Diyala province, Iraq

Another car bomb attack in Diyala province, 2016

Two cars bearing explosives were detonated in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala targeting security checkpoints on Thursday. Four people were killed and nine others wounded, reports said.

A suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden car at a checkpoint north of the town of Khalis, about 70km northeast of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

Diyala, Iraq

According to Iraqi sources, the blast occurred just after security forces captured another booby-trapped car at the same checkpoint and detained its driver.

The security measures were intensified and a curfew was declared by the Khalis authorities to avoid possible further attacks by militants of Islamic State (IS) group, which in most cases, is responsible for such suicide attacks.

On 2 January, also in Sadr City, a suicide bomber blew up a vehicle packed with explosives among a crowd, killing 35 people.

In July 2016, an IS car bombing at a shopping district during Ramadan killed almost 300 people, reported as the worst such attack in years .

The attacks came as Iraqi security forces, backed by an international anti-IS coalition, are carrying out a major offensive to drive out IS militants from its last major stronghold in and around Mosul.

Iraqi government officials stated that the Islamic State (IS) is responsible for the attacks and that the group has been seeking to compensate the losses it has suffered on the battlefield.

The Iraqi military and its allies have managed to retake the eastern neighbourhoods of Mosul from IS and the battle continues for the remaining parts of the city on the western edges of the Tigris River.