Gunmen and suicide car bombers yesterday killed at least 52 people including Iranians near the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, in an attack claimed by Islamic State group.
The attackers struck at midday, opening fire on a restaurant before getting into a car and blowing themselves up at a nearby security checkpoint, officials said. Security sources said the attackers were disguised as members of the Hashed al-Shaabi, a mainly Shiite paramilitary alliance which has fought alongside the army and police against the Islamic State jihadist group in northern Iraq.
The toll from the attacks was 52 dead and 91 wounded, said Abdel Hussein al-Jabri, deputy health chief for the mainly Shiite province of Dhiqar of which Nasiriyah is the capital. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement carried by its Amaq propaganda arm. It said several suicide bombers had staged the assault on a restaurant and a security checkpoint, killing “dozens of Shiites”.
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