Dozens killed in coordinated ISIS suicide attacks in Iraq
Malaysia Sun - Friday 15th September, 2017
At least 50 people died in southern Iraq and 80 others were injured
Suicide bombers wore security force uniforms and drove stolen army vehicles
ISIS claimed the attack saying it had killed dozens of Shi’ites
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Suffering heavy defeat in its self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State militant group struck back on Thursday, and left scores of casualties in southern Iraq.
The terror group claimed responsibility for three suicide attacks, in which suicide bombers targeted a police checkpoint and two restaurants on a highway near the city of Nassiriya.
Attackers wearing security force uniforms and driving stolen army vehicles, used car bombs and suicide vests to cause the explosions.
Two suicide bombers, including one Suicide-Borne Vehicle Improvised Explosive Device (SBVIED), targeted a nearby checkpoint.
According to health officials and police sources, the attacks left 50 people dead in southern Iraq and 80 others injured.
Jassim al-Khalidi, the head of Nassiriya’s health directorate said that the city’s hospital had received 50 bodies and the death toll could rise because some of the wounded were in critical condition.
Police sources confirmed that some police officers too had died in the checkpoint attack.
Later, released a statement on its Amaq news agency, the ultra-hardline Sunni Muslim militant group, ISIS said it had killed “dozens of Shi‘ites”.
Further, hospital sources told the local media that at least 10 Iranian pilgrims, who were visiting holy Shi‘ite shrines, were among the dead.
Amongst the three attacks, initial reports indicated that the deadliest attack was at a restaurant west of Nassiriya.
Police colonel Ali Abdul Hussain said in a brief statement, “One attacker blew up his suicide vest inside the crowded restaurant while a group of other gunmen started to throw grenades and fire at diners.”
Soon after, Security forces were placed on alert in most of the southern provinces in case the terror group had planned similar attacks.
Later in the day, al-Khalidi said, “Sixty people were killed, including Iranian citizens.”
Iranian pilgrims who were at the restaurant in the first attack were among the casualties.
Nasiriyah is the capital of the Dhi Qar Governorate, which has a large Shia population in southern Iraq.
While ISIS has previously struck western and northern Iraq, such suicide bombing attacks by the militant group are rare in the southern part of the country, which has a strong security presence, houses Iraq’s most revered Shiite shrines and is the part of the country where the bulk of Iraq’s oil is produced.
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