At least 50 people were killed, including some Iranian pilgrims, and over 80 more got injured, when the Islamic State jihadists carried out twin attacks in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah.

One ISIS attacker detonated his explosive vest inside a restaurant, south-west of Nasiriyah in the Thi Qar province, while three to four others opened fire at the people inside, the Independent quoted police sources as saying.

Yahya al-Nassiri, the area’s governor, said that the attack began with the jihadists opening fire at the checkpoint and the restaurant on the main highway that links Baghdad with the southern provinces.

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

The attack occurred as Iraqi forces battled to defeat ISIS terrorists in areas under their control. ISIS claimed the twin attacks through its propaganda agency Amaq.

Nasiriyah is the capital of Dhi Qar Governorate, which has a large Shiite population.

Nassiri said that the majority of the dead were expected to be Iranian pilgrims who were inside the restaurant. Three police officers are among the dead.

Shiites and other ethnic and religious minorities have often been targets of Sunni militants in Iraq, including al-Qaeda and Islamic State .