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Militants Attack Iraqi Police, Then Take Hostages

Posted by on December 5, 2013

BAGHDAD — Militants attacked a police building in the northern city of Kirkuk on Wednesday, and after being repulsed some of them stormed a nearby shopping center and took hostages, the authorities said.

A suicide bomber set off an explosive device at the entrance to the building, which houses a police intelligence unit. Security forces, however, killed two other suicide bombers, according to the police.

Other militants involved in the attack then moved to the Jawahir Mall, about 100 yards from the intelligence building, and a gun battle with the police unfolded.

At least 22 people were taken hostage, though 11 of them were later freed as security forces took the first and second floors of the mall, according to police sources. At least six people were killed and 40 others were wounded. Gunfire could be heard inside the building during an eight-hour siege.

Other hostages were still being held on the third floor of the mall, according to Abdul Amir al-Zaydi, an official of the Iraqi central government. He added that the number of hostages still being held was unclear.

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