Dhi Qar (IraqiNews.com) More than 100 persons, including Iranians, were killed and injured in an attack carried out Islamic State militants earlier on Thursday in Dhi Qar province.
“The total death toll of the victims reached 59 persons, while 96 others were wounded,” Jassim al-Khaldi, head of the health department of the province said in a statement.
According to Reuters, the militant group claimed responsibility for the attack. A statement on the group’s Amaq news agency said the attacks were carried out by its suicide fighters.
Militants, in military uniform, reportedly accessed a restaurant on the highway in west of the province and opened fire on people inside randomly. Iranion visitors were killed and injured. The militants then boarded two vehicles and headed to the checkpoint on borders between Dhi Qar and Muthanna provinces, where they blew up one of the vehicles leaving more casualties.
Brig. Gen. Saad Maan, spokesperson of the Interior Ministry, confirmed an attack by terrorists against a restaurant on the road between Dhi Qar and Basra. The assailants opened fire before blowing up a booby-trapped car.
Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State Sunni extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
A monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), which excludes security members deaths, said 297 Iraqis, were killed and injured due to violence and armed conflicts during the month of ِAugust. Baghdad was the most affected province with 45 deaths and 135 injuries.
Baghdad has seen almost daily bombings and armed attacks against security members, paramilitary groups and civilians since the Iraqi government launched a wide-scale campaign to retake IS-occupied areas in 2016. While most of of the explosions and attacks went without a claim of responsibility, Islamic State has claimed several incidents.