Monday, November 1, 2010
Hostage taking in catholic church in Baghdad ends with 52 dead
A policeman stands guard in front of the Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad (Reuters, file photo).
Fifty-two hostages and police were killed on Sunday when security forces raided a Baghdad church to free more than 100 Iraqi Catholics held by al Qaeda-linked gunmen, a deputy interior minister said.
Lieutenant General Hussein Kamal said on Monday that 67 people were wounded during the raid of the church in central Baghdad by gunmen demanding the release of al Qaeda prisoners in Iraq and Egypt.
The toll only included hostages and police, not attackers.
The Our Lady of Salvation church in the Karrada neighbourhood of central Baghdad was attacked by gunmen on Sunday night, who took more than 100 people hostage. The standoff was ended after police stormed the church two hours later.
The Islamic State of Iraq, a group which is linked to al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the attack. Al-Baghdadiya television station said it had received a phone call from someone claiming to be one of the attackers, who demanded the release of all al-Qaeda prisoners in Iraq and Egypt.