- Title: IRAQ: Five killed in Baghdad office
- Date: 20th January 2010
- Summary: ADHAMIYA CEMETERY PEOPLE AT CEMETERY
- Embargoed: 4th February 2010 14:12
- Location: Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Reuters ID: LVA4JF0HQXXBXOYOOW6K60F5Z9ZC
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Iraqi police say gunmen have burst into a Baghdad office and shot dead the five people inside.
Gunmen burst into a Baghdad office of a non-governmental organisation on Monday (January 18) and shot dead the five people inside, Iraqi police said.
The attackers planted a bomb in the entrance to the office which exploded when security forces arrived, killing or wounding some of them, local Sunni neighbourhood guard chief Nabil al-Qaisi said.
No reason was immediately apparent for the attack in Adhamiya, a predominantly Sunni area of the Iraqi capital. Police gave conflicting information about the NGO but local residents believed it was involved in distributing humanitarian aid.
"They (gunmen) easily entered and murdered the people and then plant a bomb under one of the cars, one of the civilian cars of Abu Abdullah, Abu Ahmed and others who were inside and who are killed or wounded in hospital. Cars were damaged and All those who were inside were killed , except one who was seriously wounded and now at the neurological hospital. A woman is now being washed at the cemetery. They also killed a woman," said a relative of one of the dead.
Members of other aid groups operating in the area said no gunshots were heard, suggesting that silenced weapons were used.
Some police sources said four men and one woman were killed while Qaisi said the victims included three men and two women. Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim al-Moussawi said three people were killed.
Qaisi said the neighbourhood was once a bastion of al Qaeda.
Anger is simmering in Iraq's once dominant Sunni community over efforts by an independent panel to ban around 500 candidates from a March 7 general election because of alleged links to Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath party.
Many on the list are believed to be Sunni, triggering suspicions that the ban reflects an attempt by elements in the Shi'ite Muslim-led government to sideline Sunnis in the vote.
One of the few whose name has been made public is prominent Sunni politician Saleh al-Mutlaq. But the list also includes Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's defence minister.
The raging sectarian war between Sunnis and majority Shi'ites unleashed by the 2003 U.S. invasion has largely subsided. But bomb attacks and assassinations remain a daily occurrence in much of the country.
Iraqi and U.S. officials say they expect attacks to increase ahead of the parliamentary election in March, which will be a test of Iraq's growing stability.
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