Dead After IS Attacks in Southern Iraq

Dead After IS Attacks in Southern Iraq

According to health officials and police sources, the attacks left 50 people dead in southern Iraq and 80 others injured.

The attacks in the southern province of Thi Qar on Thursday started with unidentified gunmen opening fire inside a restaurant on the main highway that links the capital Baghdad with the southern provinces.

Daesh or ISIS claimed responsibility for twin attacks.

The remaining attackers then got into a vehicle and drove to a nearby security checkpoint, where they blew themselves up. Numerous dead are suspected to include Iranian pilgrims and security forces personnel.

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The death toll could rise, warned Abdel Hussein Al-Jabri, deputy director-general of health for province of Dhi Qar, which was state of wounded " in critical condition ".

He warned that the death toll could rise as numerous wounded were in serious condition.

Al-Nassiri says the dead included Iranian pilgrims and a policeman.

Thi Qar, north of the city of Basra, is about 200 miles (320km) southeast of Baghdad.

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Attackers wearing security force uniforms and driving stolen army vehicles, used auto bombs and suicide vests to cause the explosions. It leads to the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala and is often used by Iranian Shi'ite pilgrims.

Shortly afterwards, a auto bomb exploded at a nearby checkpoint.

So-called Islamic State said it carried out the attacks.

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