Published: Fri, September 15, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Dead After IS Attacks in Southern Iraq

Dead After IS Attacks in Southern Iraq

BAGHDAD-Islamic State said its gunmen stormed a restaurant in southern Iraq after blowing up a auto bomb outside it, an attack Iraqi officials said killed more than 50 people, including Iranian pilgrims having lunch.

The province's Governor, Yahya al-Nassiri, said that initially, the militants opened fire at the checkpoint and the restaurant located on the highway that links Baghdad with other provinces.

The second terror attack occurred when a vehicle exploded at a security checkpoint nearby.

Soon after, Security forces were placed on alert in most of the southern provinces in case the terror group had planned similar attacks. One report said at least four Iranians were among those killed.

More than 80 people were injured in the attacks, many of them seriously, and the death toll could rise, health officials said. The road targeted by jihadists is in southern Iraqi province Dhi Qar, heavily populated by Shi'ite Muslims. In a statement released by its propaganda arm Amaq, IS said several suicide bombers had staged the assault on a restaurant and a security checkpoint.

Bomb attacks in southern Iraq, where the bulk of the country's oil is produced, are relatively rare.

The area targeted is often used by Shia pilgrims and visitors from Iran on their way to the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala further north.

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