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World
15 Sep 2017

ISIS shifts to guerrilla tactics in Iraq, attacks kills 60

At least 60 people were killed and 100 injured in two attacks in southern Iraq.

In the first attack, a suicide bomber detonated a vest inside a crowded restaurant in Nassiriya and gunmen opened fire and threw grenades.

After some time, a nearby checkpoint was attacked by a car bomb.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it had killed "dozens of Shiites."

In context

60 killed in ISIS attacks in southern Iraq
ISIS attackers disguised themselves as members of Shiite militia

What happened?

ISIS attackers disguised themselves as members of Shiite militia

Authorities said at least 10 Iranian pilgrims, who were visiting holy Shiite shrines in Iraq, were among those killed.

The attackers were reportedly disguised as members of the Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation), a predominantly-Shiite militia that is fighting ISIS alongside Iraqi security forces.

Reports suggested that some police officers were killed in the checkpoint attack, but the actual death toll remains unknown.

Analysis

Following defeats, ISIS shifts to asymmetric tactics

ISIS has suffered a series of military defeats in Iraq and Syria and its self-proclaimed caliphate is collapsing.

The latest attack signals that ISIS is moving towards asymmetric guerrilla tactics such as suicide bombings to demonstrate that it still remains strong.

The attack, which targeted Shiite pilgrims, could also be seen as an attempt at fanning sectarian tensions in Iraq.

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