Suicide Attacks Kill At Least 15, Wound 85 In Iraq

(CNN)

A pair of suicide attacks Wednesday morning in Diyala province, north of Baghdad, killed at least 15 people and wounded 85 others, authorities said.

A suicide bomber drove a vehicle loaded with explosives into the headquarters compound of Force Protection Services in central Baquba during morning training, according to police officials in Baquba and Baghdad.

FPS is the Iraqi security agency responsible for protecting the country's government institutions.

At least 13 people were killed and 70 injured in that attack.

Baquba is the provincial capital of Diyala province.

South of Baquba, a suicide bomber wearing a vest packed with explosives detonated near a convoy carrying the deputy head of Diyala's provincial council, Sadiq al-Husseini, police said. The attack in al-Ghalbiya, about 15 km (8 miles) south of Baquba, killed at least two people and wounded 15 others, including al-Husseini.

Al-Husseini's convoy was traveling with a procession of Shiite pilgrims.

The bloody attacks came a day after a suicide bomber wearing an explosives-packed vest detonated a police recruitment center in Salaheddin province, also in northern Iraq. That strike killed at least 65 people and wounded 160 others.

Diyala used to be an al Qaeda stronghold until 2008 when Iraqi security forces backed by U.S. troops conducted a number of major military operations in the province to push the militants out.

Awakening councils in the province also played a major role to hunt down al Qaeda fighters in the province. Awakening Councils, whose members are predominantly Sunni, have been recruited by the U.S. military to work against al Qaeda in Iraq and other militias.