BAQUBA, Iraq, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Four people were killed and nine others wounded on Thursday in two suicide car bomb attacks targeting security checkpoints in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, a provincial security source said.
In the early morning, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden car at a checkpoint north of the town of Khalis, some 70 km northeast of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The blast occurred just after security forces captured another booby-trapped car at the same checkpoint and detained its driver, the source said.
Minutes later, another suicide car bomb ripped through a second checkpoint, located some 7 km north of the first checkpoint, the source said, adding that both the checkpoints are located on the main road between the provincial capital city of Baquba and Kirkuk province in the north.
Authorities in the town of Khalis intensified security measures and imposed a curfew to avoid possible further attacks by militants of Islamic State (IS) group, which in most cases, is responsible for such suicide attacks.
The attacks came as the 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.
Many blame the current chronic instability, cycle of violence, and the emergence of extremist groups, such as the IS, on the U.S., which invaded and occupied Iraq in March 2003.