Three suicide attacks claimed by Islamic State killed at least 60 people in southern Iraq on Thursday, a health official and police sources said, suggesting a shift in the ultra-hardline group's tactics since it lost control of its stronghold in Mosul.
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.
Shortly afterward two suicide bombers, including one driving a auto rigged with explosives, blew themselves and the vehicle up at a security checkpoint nearby, Iraqi officials told AFP.More news: Virat Kohli Or Steve Smith? Michael Clarke Picks His Favourite ODI Batsman
Officials fear that the final death toll could rise, as many of those injured in the attacks are in serious critical condition. "An assailant activated his belt of explosives inside restaurant, crowded, and a group of or men opened fire and threw grenades on guests", said Ali Abdul Hussain, colonel of police, Reuters news agency. The road targeted by jihadists is in southern Iraqi province Dhi Qar, heavily populated by Shi'ite Muslims.
Jihadist militants carry out regular attacks in Iraq where Daesh has been losing ground to the government forces.
Police sources said some police officers had died in the checkpoint attack, but the toll from that incident remained unclear. In a statement released by its propaganda arm Amaq, ISIS said several suicide bombers had staged the assault on a restaurant and a security checkpoint.