BAGHDAD - A series of car bombings across Iraq Monday killed at least 56 people and wounded dozens.
The largest bombing took place in the Shiite-majority town of al-Khales in Iraq’s eastern Diyala Province. At least 32 people were killed in the attack and 58 were wounded when the car bomb tore through a commercial street, police said.
In July, Diyala was the scene of one of the deadliest attacks on Iraqi soil in almost a decade when a suicide bomber attacked a crowded marketplace, killing 115 people. The province has been the scene of multiple attacks in recent months — prompting anti-government protests, with citizens demanding tougher security measures.
Meanwhile, in Iraq’s southern Basra Province, a senior security official said a car bomb exploded in a busy commercial district killing 10 people. At least 25 people were wounded in the attack.
In Baghdad, police said at least 14 people were killed and 25 wounded when a car bomb exploded in the northeastern neighborhood of Husseiniya.
While no one has claimed responsibility, ISIL regularly targets Shiite neighborhoods and government installations in an effort to destabilize the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.
The bombings came just hours after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi opened part of the Green Zone to members of the public.
For the more than 12 years since the U.S.-led invasion, Baghdad’s Green Zone has been out of bounds for the vast majority of Iraqis.
The 3.9-square-mile enclave in central Baghdad contains government buildings, mansions housing the country’s political elite, and foreign embassies — including the largest and most expensive U.S. mission in the world.
Still, those without passes can navigate only a single road through — in one direction. That thoroughfare has been newly flanked with blast walls, meaning that the Green Zone’s buildings are still sealed off.