>> Carnage and anguish in Southern Iraq on Thursday, after three suicide attacks claimed by Islamic State. Police sources saying at least 60 people were killed at a police checkpoint and two restaurants near the City of Nasiriyah. When attackers wearing security force uniforms and driving stolen army vehicles opened fire, threw grenades, and detonated car bombs and suicide vests.
> There were four buses of Iranian pilgrims. The gunmen boarded the buses and sprayed those who were inside with bullets, while others in pickup trucks drove by firing at people. Then they walked into the restaurant, opening fire on the people inside, the young and the old, sparing no one.
All the people who are here were killed.>> The massacre suggests a shift in the militant groups tactics since it lost control of its stronghold in Mosul. Security officials describing Thursday's attacks as an attempt to send a message to other Islamic State followers that the group is still strong and can operate in other parts of Iraq after its territorial losses.
Bomb attacks in the mostly Shiite south, where the bulk of the country's oil is produced, and security forces hold a tighter grip, have so far, been relatively rare. At least 100 people were also injured in the attacks. The head of Nasiriyah's health director at saying the death toll could rise as some of the wounded were in critical condition.