Twelve killed after bombing at Iraq central bank
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Twelve people were killed on Sunday when gunmen detonated a bomb central bank and battled with security forces from the rooftops in what officials said could be a raid on the bank's vaults.
At least one bomb and perhaps as many as four exploded as bank employees were leaving work, sending a over Baghdad after setting the bank's generator on fire.
Troops and police came under fire from gunmen as they surrounded the bank in case the bombing was to rob the institution of its stockpiles of Iraqi dinars and U.S. dollars, said Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim al-Moussawi.
"It's not clear to us whether this was a robbery or an attempt to cause destruction," said Moussawi. "But we can definitely say they targeted the central bank."
Moussawi declined to give a death toll. Police and Interior Ministry sources said 12 people died and at least 22 were wounded in the bomb blast and subsequent gunfight.
Recent weeks have seen a spurt of deadly gold market robberies and attacks by suspected Sunni as tensions simmer following an inconclusive election in March that produced no outright winner.
Many of the groups that took up arms after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein have turned to crime as the and al Qaeda-led insurgency fade. Gunmen killed 14 people on May 25 in a raid on Baghdad goldsmiths and three on June 9 in an attack on a gold market in southern Basra.