- Title: IRAQ: Twelve killed in Iraq gold shop robbery
- Date: 18th October 2010
- Summary: BLOODSTAINS ON GROUND INSIDE SHOP
- Embargoed: 2nd November 2010 12:00
- Location: Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Reuters ID: LVADYZQYLQXCYP6Z7UW6D2POQ24Y
- Story Text: At least 12 people died when gunmen swoop on a row of goldsmiths' shops in a brazen robbery in the Iraqi capital.
At least 12 people died when gunmen swooped down on a row of goldsmiths' shops in a brazen midday robbery in the Iraqi capital on Sunday (October 17) and ended up in a gunfight with security forces, police and military sources said.
The gunmen used hand grenades and small arms to kill three gold shop owners in a market in the Mansour district of western Baghdad, an interior ministry source said.
When the attackers emerged from the shops they were met by soldiers and police. Two gunmen, two police officers, a soldier and four civilians died in the shootout, two security sources said.
"There was a gunfight and I killed the attacker while he was trying to kill a policeman, thanks God. But unfortunately my fellow was killed when the gunmen threw four grenades at him, two other policemen were killed and my friend Mohammad who killed theses two was wounded in his leg," said Iraqi soldier Ali Fager, who took part in the opreation.
Security officials say some of the insurgent groups that took up arms after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein have turned to crime to finance their operations, attacking banks, gold markets and jewellery shops.
Authorities said they did not yet know whether the Mansour suspects were insurgents or a criminal gang.
Iraq has seen a big drop in violence since Washington sent thousands of extra troops and built alliances with tribal leaders to battle a stubborn insurgency but attacks are still common in Baghdad and ethnically and religiously mixed areas north of the capital.
The attackers started the robbery by throwing a "sound bomb" to scatter shoppers before storming the goldsmiths' shops, the interior ministry source said.
Security forces had surrounded the area and were searching for the remaining gunmen, an army source in Mansour said.
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