Three militants gunned down coffee shop patrons in central Iraq on Friday morning before later blowing themselves up and security personnel, killing at least 20 people, officials said, in the latest deadly attacks claimed by ISIS in the country.
Counting Friday’s carnage in Balad, a Shiite-majority city 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad, attacks claimed by the Sunni terror group ISIS have left more than 110 people dead in the last three days.
In Friday’s first attack, gunmen stormed al-Furat coffee shop in Balad, shooting and killing at least 13 people and injuring 22 others, Iraqi police said.
Security forces then set up checkpoints in the area, but the gunmen weren’t immediately found.
Two hours later, three men wearing explosive vests — believed to be the coffee shop attackers — engaged in a gunfight with security personnel at a major checkpoint in the city, police said.
All three attackers eventually blew themselves up at the checkpoint. The gunbattle and explosions left seven police officers dead and 12 others injured, security officials said.
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Image courtesy of the Independent