Islamic State militants attack Iraqi Shiite militia, kill 6

Paramilitary official: Islamic State militants attack bus with Shiite militiamen in Iraq, killing 6 fighters

Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi opened an investigation into the attack, which took place late Wednesday near the town of Makhmour, south of the northern city of Mosul.

An official from the government-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces said the bus was en route from Mosul to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk to reporters. He blamed the attack on the Islamic State group, which was vanquished in Iraq in late 2017 but has recently stepped up activities.

The wounded were transported to the nearest health-care facility in the nearby town of Qayyarah, in Nineveh Province.

Also on Thursday, in the southern city of Basra police used tear gas to disperse a group of around 250 protesters outside the provincial building, headquarters of the local government.

Earlier, coordination committees in al-Basra called on people to demonstrate peacefully.

The city saw violent riots in the summer over acute water pollution and crippling power outages, during which demonstrators set fire to government buildings, their anger reaching a boiling point.