Gunmen and suicide car bombers killed at least 74 people near the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, in the deadliest attack claimed by the I.S. group since it lost second city Mosul.

According to officials, nearly 100 people were also injured in the attacks.

The said, the assailants struck, opening fire on a restaurant before getting into a car and blowing themselves up at a nearby security checkpoint.

They left a trail of destruction, with charred bodies scattered on the ground near the burnt-out wrecks of cars, buses and trucks.

The attack was quickly claimed by the I.S. group, which appears to be switching to insurgent attacks after suffering a string of setbacks on the battlefield.

Rescue workers and members of the security forces placed bodies in ambulances and cleared away rubble and the carcasses of burnt-out cars from the site.

Nearby shelters built of corrugated metal were reduced to scraps of metal, twisted by heat.