Car bomb rocks marketplace in eastern Iraq, dozens dead

A car bomb ripped through a marketplace in eastern Iraq Monday, killing dozens of people, before a suicide bomber blew himself up in a residential area killing seven more civilians.

The first explosion happened in the town of Baquba in Diyala province—35 miles northeast of Baghdad— where 35 people were deadand 72 injured. A separate explosion in the village of Kanaan killed seven and wounded at least 15.

Emergency services rushed to the scene to help the injured. Hospital officials corroborated the casualty figures. All spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

Residents in Diyala have been calling for greater protection from security forces after the Islamic State group bombed a crowded marketplace last month, killing 115 people, including women and children. The mostly Shiite victims were gathered to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The government in Baghdad vowed to apprehend the culprits and better secure Diyala. But tensions are high in the volatile province, where a number of towns were captured by the Islamic State group last year. Iraqi forces and Kurdish fighters since have retaken those areas, but clashes between the militants and security forces continue.

The Sunni militant group has been behind several similar large-scale attacks on civilians or military checkpoints as it seeks to expand its territory. The group currently controls about a third of Iraq and Syria in a self-declared "caliphate."

The United Nations said last month that about 15,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq since the start of 2014. The report says the figure, which runs up to the end of April 2015, only takes account of verifiable casualties and that the real toll may be much higher.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.