'Iranian pilgrims' among 50 dead in Islamic State-claimed Iraq blast

Posted September 15, 2017

Two attacks in southern Iraq have left at least 50 people dead and dozens more wounded.

One attacker detonated his explosive vest inside the restaurant, south-west of Nassiriya, while three to four other attackers opened fire at the people inside, police sources said.

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

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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.

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

Iraqi police officers inspect the remains of a auto used in a bomb attack in Nasiriyah city, about 350 km south of Baghdad, Iraq, 14 September 2017.

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Adding to the pressure on the fighters, Iraqi forces also recaptured the city of Tal Afar and the surrounding region from Daesh on August 31.

Iraqi and Kurdish security officials told Reuters the Sunni militants were likely to wage a guerrilla war in Iraq after devastating territorial losses they suffered from Iraqi forces.

The group's only other stronghold is Hawija, in Kirkuk province some 300 kilometres north of Baghdad.

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Islamic State has suffered a number of defeats at the hands of Shia militias, both in Iraq and in neighbouring Syria. The road targeted by jihadists is in southern Iraqi province Dhi Qar, heavily populated by Shi'ite Muslims.