Two bombs exploded among a group of government-supported militiamen in the Iraqi city of Baquba on Thursday, killing at least six people and wounding 23 others, a health official and a security source said.

A suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt outside the gates of a military base as members of the Sunni Sahwa militia lined up to collect pay, and a car bomb blew up in a nearby parking lot a few minutes later, the security source said.

Baquba, the capital of restive Diyala province, is about 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad.

We have six killed and 23 wounded. This is an initial report because they are still transporting the casualties, said Faris al-Azzawi, a spokesman for the Diyala province health department.

Police sources said the toll was 10 dead and 40 wounded.

Military officials have said militants could step up attacks as the United States pulls its remaining 33,000 troops out of Iraq by December 31.

Although violence has dropped sharply since the peak of sectarian conflict in 2006-07, Iraq is still plagued by a lethal Sunni insurgency and Shi'ite militias that carry out scores of bombings and other attacks each month.

(Editing by Jim Loney)