Al-Qaida in Iraq claims responsibility for deadly attack on central bank

21:19, June 17, 2010      

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Al-Qaida in Iraq militant group claimed Thursday responsibility for Sunday's attack on the Iraqi Central Bank building in downtown Baghdad that killed up to 19 people.

A statement from the group posted on the Internet said that five of its suicide bombers with their light weapons and explosive belts carried out the attack which lasted half an hour to control the bank's compound and then four hours of fierce fighting with the Iraqi troops which tried to regain control of the buildings.

"We challenge the media and liars of the Green Zone to show the battlefield on their satellite channels, or to record the testimony of their employees whom we captured inside the building, " the statement said.

On Sunday, an Interior Ministry source said that 19 people were killed and some 50 others wounded when gunmen wearing Iraqi Army uniform stormed the Iraqi Central Bank building at the al-Rasheed Street while the bank employees were leaving work at about 3:00 p. m. (1200 GMT).

The attackers detonated bombs near the main entrance of the bank igniting a huge fire in the fuel tanks of the generators outside the bank before they stormed the building, the ministry source said.

The Iraqi security forces immediately surrounded the bank to prevent any attempt to rob it, while a gunbattle erupted after the blasts between security forces and gunmen who blew themselves up, the source said.

Sporadic violence and waves of high-profile attacks are still common in the Iraqi cities more then three months after the country held its landmark parliamentary election which is widely expected to shape the political landscape of the war-torn country.

Source: Xinhua


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