BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Two car bombs and a third blast killed at least nine people in Iraq on Wednesday, officials and security sources said, the latest in a spate of attacks raising fears of a return to widespread violence.
The first bomb hit a commercial district in the town of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, just after locals had gathered to break their Ramadan fast, said the sources.
Two people were killed and nine injured in the town in the central province of Diyala, police and hospital sources said.
A car bomb exploded soon afterwards in the town of Muqdadiya, also in Diyala, and when people gathered to see its aftermath, a second device detonated, the local mayor and police sources told Reuters.
Seven people were killed and 25 injured, the sources said.
Security has been visibly increased in Iraq this week ahead of the end of Ramadan, a period when analysts and officials say insurgents may be planning a major attack.
Sunni Muslim insurgents have launched a string of attacks on Shi‘ite Muslim targets to try to reignite the sectarian violence that killed tens of thousands of people in 2006-2007 and to topple the country’s Shi‘ite-led government.
Security experts say an al Qaeda affiliate in Iraq has been reinvigorated by money and arms coming over the border from affiliated fighters in the war in neighboring Syria.
Reporting by a Reuters correspondent in Baquba; Writing by Barry Malone; Editing by Andrew Heavens