REPORTING FROM BAGHDAD -- A suicide bombing and a car blast near an old Iraqi army base Thursday killed nine people, most of them security personnel collecting their pay, government and hospital officials said. At least two dozen were injured.
The first blast occurred about 8 a.m. near Baqubah, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives belt as guards from the corps known as Sahwa, or Awakening, lined up to receive their salary, officials said.
Almost simultaneously and just a few feet away, a car bomb went off, according to officials.
The dead included eight Awakening guards and an Iraqi soldier. Guards and soldiers also comprised the majority of those wounded, officials said.
Thursday's explosions came a day after seven people were killed and dozens injured when three bombs hidden in motorcycles exploded in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Less than a week earlier, 18 people were killed in twin blasts in Baghdad.
The recent spate of bombings has raised concerns over a significant uptick in violence as U.S troops prepare to withdraw from Iraq by Dec. 31.
-- Raheem Salman
Photo: Residents mourn near the coffin of a bomb attack victim Thursday outside a morgue in Baqubah, northeast of Baghdad. Credit: Helmiy al-Azawi / Reuters