Iraq at­tack death toll rises to 84

Iran Daily - - Front Page -

The death toll has mounted to more than 80 killed in a Daesh-claimed at­tack in south­ern Iraq tar­get­ing a restau­rant fre­quented by Shia Mus­lim pil­grims, Iraqi of­fi­cials said Fri­day.

Eighty-four peo­ple were killed and 93 peo­ple were in­jured in the at­tack in Nasiriyah, in Iraq’s south­ern Dhiqar prov­ince Thurs­day evening, ac­cord­ing to Pro­vin­cial Gov. Yahya al-nas­siri. Among them, eight Ira­ni­ans were killed and 16 wounded, AP re­ported.

Nas­siri added that the prov­ince’s di­rec­tor of in­tel­li­gence was re­moved and the In­te­rior Min­istry called for him to be in­ves­ti­gated.

The at­tack be­gan as a shoot­ing at a check­point and restau­rant along the main road that con­nects the prov­ince to Baghdad, fol­lowed by two sui­cide bombers, one driv­ing an ex­plo­sives­laden car.

It left a trail of de­struc­tion, with charred bod­ies scat­tered on the ground near the burnt-out wrecks of cars, buses and trucks.

The at­tack was quickly claimed by the Daesh ter­ror group, which ap­pears to be switch­ing to ter­ror­ist at­tacks af­ter suf­fer­ing a string of set­backs on the bat­tle­field.

Iraq’s top Shia re­li­gious author­ity Grand Ay­a­tol­lah Ali al-sis­tani con­demned the at­tack Fri­day call­ing on Iraq’s cen­tral gov­ern­ment and lo­cal lead­ers “to un­der­take re­spon­si­bly and pro­fes­sion­ally the pro­tec­tion of cit­i­zens from ter­ror­ists.”

UN en­voy Jan Ku­bis con­demned the “cow­ardly twin at­tacks... which re­sulted in nu­mer­ous civil­ian ca­su­al­ties, in­clud­ing many pil­grims.” The head of Ye­men’s Houthis threat­ened Thurs­day to fire mis­siles at the United Arab Emi­rates and to at­tack Saudi tankers in the Red Sea.

The UAE, a key mem­ber of a Saudi-led Arab coali­tion fight­ing in Ye­men’s con­flict, “is now within range of our mis­siles,” Ab­del Malek al-houthi said in a tele­vised speech, AFP re­ported.

“The com­pa­nies which have been set up, or which have in­vest­ments in the UAE, should no longer con­sider it a safe coun­try.”

Ab­del Malek said the Houthis had suc­cess­fully fired a mis­sile at Abu Dhabi ear­lier this month, mean­ing the United Arab Emi­rates was no longer safe from at­tack.

He said his forces had ad­vanced their mis­sile tech­nol­ogy to reach tar­gets north of the Saudi cap­i­tal Riyadh and south of Mecca, in the west of the oil-rich king­dom.

The naval forces were ca­pa­ble of strik­ing Saudi oil in­stal­la­tions and tankers in the Red Sea, he said, warn­ing against any at­tempt to cap­ture the port of Hodeida which is un­der their con­trol.

“To­day, the port of Hodeida is be­ing threat­ened and we can­not turn a blind eye to that,” Ab­del Malek said.

“If the Saudi regime, with a green light from the US, at­tacks Hodeida, then we have to take steps that we haven’t taken be­fore.”

“We could tar­get Saudi oil tankers and we could do any­thing,” he said.

The Saudi coali­tion has since 2015 waged a blis­ter­ing air cam­paign against Ye­men, while en­forc­ing an air and sea block­ade. The war has killed over 12,000 civil­ians, dis­placed three mil­lion peo­ple, and pushed the coun­try, the most im­pov­er­ished in the Arab world, to the brink of famine. More­over, an out­break of cholera has killed 2,000 peo­ple.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iran

© PressReader. All rights reserved.