Dozens die in twin attacks in Iraq

Posted September 15, 2017

Another 50 people were wounded in one of the attacks close to a restaurant near Nasiriyah, said a senior provincial health official, Jassem al-Khalidi.

The first attack occurred outside a local restaurant and minutes later an explosives-packed vehicle rammed a security checkpoint in the same area, officials said.

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The Islamic State group was quick to claim responsibility for the attack on its official online Amaq publication. 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 ".

Police sources said some police officers had died in the checkpoint attack, but the toll from that incident remained unclear.

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The Sunni extremist group regularly stages attacks in Iraq, where it has lost swathes of territory to US-backed pro-government forces.

At a roadside restaurant near Nasiriya, the capital of the Dhiqar province, gunmen stormed inside the property and opened fire, Iraqi interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan told the BBC.

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Thursday's attacks come as Iraqi forces backed by tribal fighters closed in one of the last Daesh bastions in the country: Al Qaim area on the border with war-ravaged Syria. In short statement released by its propaganda organ Qama, organization wrote that several suicide bombers participated in this attack, which killed " dozens of shiites ".