ISIS forces are claiming credit for a pair of car bombings against the central Iraq provincial capital of Baquba today, which left at least 58 people dead and over 100 others wounded. Baquba, the capital of Diyala, is just 30 miles north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and is treated practically as a suburb these days.
The larger of the two attacks hit a crowded marketplace in Huwaidar, in northern Baquba, killing 51 people and wounding at least 80 others. The attacker snuck through a military checkpoint by hiding within a wedding motorcade.
The smaller attack hit a checkpoint run by a Shi’ite militia in the eastern part of the city, killing seven people and wounding another 25. ISIS said in both cases the targets were Shi’ite “rejectionists.”
It is unclear, however, whether the majority of the casualties actually were Shi’ites, as the Diyala Province is one of the few which, after years of sectarian bloodletting, is still relatively split between Sunnis and Shi’ites. The Iraqi government has claimed the province “cleansed of ISIS forces for nearly a year now, but ISIS continues to be able to carry out strikes.