An attack on a mall in Baghdad on Monday that left at least 12 people dead has ended, Iraqi security and medical sources said. “The security forces are now fully in control, the gunmen have been killed and the hostages have been freed,” a senior police officer said.
The Islamic State has claimed the attack. Earlier, four gunmen charged into a shopping mall in eastern Baghdad on Monday after a car bomb exploded outside, police sources said.
Associated Press, quoting Iraqi officials said, the gunmen, who may have been wearing suicide vests, killed 10 people and took hostages at the Jawaher mall in the predominately Shi’ite Muslim district of Baghdad Jadida. Police and medical officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief reporters, say the gunmen set off a car bomb at the entrance to the mall on Monday before moving in.
The officials say another 25 people were wounded in the attack and that three police are among the dead. The officials had estimated that 5075 people were trapped in the mall. State television said security forces were surrounding the site of ‘a terrorist attack’ in Baghdad Jadida, citing an interior ministry spokesman.
Islamic State attack Islamic State militants controlling large swathes of Iraq’s north and west regularly target Shi’ite districts and security forces in the capital and elsewhere. Iraq is also gripped by a sectarian conflict mostly between Shi’ites and Sunnis that has been exacerbated by the rise of the ultrahardline Sunni insurgents of Islamic State.
Earlier in the day, three people were killed and eight others wounded when a car bomb claimed by Islamic State went off near a restaurant in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, security and medical sources said.