A suicide bomber blew himself up in a restaurant in south of Baghdad killing at least 14 people Monday, the Associated Press (AP) reported, citing Iraqi officials. The attack, which took place in the Dhi Qar province, wounded at least 27 people, the report added.
The AP report added that the attack in the restaurant came just two hours after two separate suicide bombings outside Baghdad killed at least 10 troops.
However, the casualty figures differed among various sources. A report by Agence France Presse (AFP) said that at least 12 people were killed on Monday and 54 people were injured in the attacks.
AFP also added that one bomber attacked a joint police and army checkpoint north of Baghdad while two others attacked pro-government paramilitaries in Mishahada and a restaurant outside the southern city of Nasiriyah. The report added that the mortar fire killed two people and injured at least seven people in Abu Gharib, which lies west of Baghdad.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, media reports said that the Islamic State group is known to conduct similar attacks in the country, aiming civilians and security forces.
A U.S. army official, Captain Chance McCraw, told journalists in Baghdad, according to AFP, that ISIS, which has lost ground to Iraqi forces over the past few months, has been conducting more bombings to stay relevant in the region.
McCraw said that ISIS is “losing its prominence on the battlefield, and so what we've kind (of) seen recently is a lot more what we call high profile attacks,” adding that they are trying to “still stay relevant in the media, because that's how they get their message out.”
Last month, a suicide bomber attacked a football tournament south of Baghdad, killing over 30 people. Earlier in March, over 45 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a checkpoint, AFP reported.