Iraq: At least 50 die in twin at­tacks near Nasiriya

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL -

BBC -- At least 50 peo­ple have been killed in two at­tacks in south­ern Iraq, health of­fi­cials say.

In the first at­tack, a sui­cide bomber det­o­nated his vest and gun­men opened fire in­side a road­side res­tau­rant near Nasiriya, the cap­i­tal of Dhiqar prov­ince, se­cu­rity sources said.

Soon af­ter­wards, a car bomb ex­ploded at a nearby check­point.

So-called Is­lamic State said it car­ried out the at­tacks. A num­ber of Ira­ni­ans are thought to be among the dead.

More than 80 peo­ple were in­jured in the at­tacks, many of them se­ri­ously, and the death toll could rise, health of­fi­cials said.

Ac­cord­ing to news agency AFP, one re­port said the at­tack­ers were dis­guised as mem­bers of Hashd al-Shaabi (Pop­u­lar Mo­bil­i­sa­tion) - a mainly Shia group that has fought along­side Iraqi forces against IS.

IS are en­dur­ing de­feat af­ter de­feat on front lines in both Iraq and Syria, but they re­main ca­pa­ble of launch­ing dev­as­tat­ing as­saults on soft tar­gets, says BBC Mid­dle East ed­i­tor Alan John­ston.

The area tar­geted is fre­quented by Shia pil­grims and vis­i­tors from Iran on their way to the holy cities of Na­jaf and Kar­bala to the north.

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