Three Iranians among seven dead in twin attacks in south Iraq

Posted September 15, 2017

Gunmen and suicide auto bombers on Thursday killed at least 52 people including Iranians near the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, in an attack claimed by the Daesh militant group.

The first attack occurred outside a local restaurant and minutes later an explosives-packed auto rammed a security checkpoint in the same area, officials said.

The incident took place when Daesh terrorists fired randomly at a restaurant, located next to the worldwide highway, in Thi Qar province, killing scores of civilians.

Hospital sources said at least 10 Iranian pilgrims, who were visiting holy Shi'ite shrines, were among the dead.

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Security sources said the attackers were disguised as members of the Hashed al-Shaabi, mainly Shia paramilitary units which have fought alongside the army and police against the Islamic State to the north of Baghdad. The road targeted by jihadists is in southern Iraqi province Dhi Qar, heavily populated by Shi'ite Muslims.

Health officials in the province said the death toll could rise because some of those injured are in critical condition.

Islamic State has said it was responsible for the suicide attacks that left almost 90 injured at a roadside restaurant and checkpoint near the city of Nasiriyah, in the southern Thi Qar province. Three police officers are among the dead.

Islamic State claimed responsibility in a statement on its Amaq news agency.