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At least 50 people have been killed in two attacks in southern Iraq.

The attack started when unidentified gunmen opened fire at people in a highway restaurant.

Soon afterwards, a vehicle bomb exploded at a nearby checkpoint. Numerous dead are suspected to include Iranian pilgrims and security forces personnel.

Later in the day, al-Khalidi said, "Sixty people were killed, including Iranian citizens".

"The total death toll of the victims reached 50 persons, while 87 others were wounded", the health department said in a statement.

Abdel Hussein al Jabri, deputy health chief for Thi Qar, warned the number of dead could rise as numerous wounded were in a serious condition.

An Iraqi man stands near blood-stained pond at the site of a bomb attack in Nasiriyah city, about 350 km south of Baghdad, Iraq, 14 September 2017. The Shi'ite dominated Dhiqar province is 320 kilometers southeast of Baghdad.

Attackers wearing security force uniforms and driving stolen army vehicles, used auto bombs and suicide vests to cause the explosions.

Shortly afterward, two suicide bombers, including one driving a auto rigged with explosives, blew themselves, Iraqi officials said.

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


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