- Associated Press - Thursday, September 14, 2017

BAGHDAD (AP) — The governor of Iraq’s southern Thi Qar province has raised the death toll from an attack on a checkpoint and nearby restaurant to 45.

Yahya al-Nassiri says Thursday’s attack, which also left 83 wounded, started with militants opening fire at the checkpoint and the restaurant on the main highway that links Baghdad with the southern provinces. That was followed by two suicide bombers, including one driving an explosives-laden car, he said.

Al-Nassiri says the majority of the dead are expected to be Iranian pilgrims who were inside the restaurant.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. The Islamic State group often claims responsibility for large-scale attacks targeting security forces and Shiite civilians in Iraq.

Shiite Muslim-dominated Thi Qar is located about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad.

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