Eight killed in Baghdad jewellers heist

today Oct 18, 2010
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BAGHDAD, Oct 17, 2010 AFP © - Gunmen shot dead three jewellery shop owners in the Iraqi capital on Sunday, in a heist that also left two robbers and three security personnel killed in a gunbattle, the interior ministry said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (left) meets King Abdullah II of Jordan in Amman on Sunday during an official visit. Photo : AFP

Several of the gunmen managed to escape after the daylight robbery in the capital's upmarket Mansur district but without all of the loot, the ministry said in a statement.

It said police who rushed to the scene were waiting outside the stores as the gunmen tried to make a get-away, resulting in the gunbattle in which five people were killed, two of them policemen and a soldier.

Four bystanders were wounded, the ministry said.

Armed raids on gold and jewellery shops in Baghdad have been on the rise, and security officials say insurgent groups may be carrying out such robberies to finance operations.

The ministry says it believes that repeated attacks on banks, jewellery stores and money exchange offices are funding insurgents.

In separate attacks in the capital on Sunday, a policeman and a civilian were killed and eight other people wounded by magnetic "sticky" bombs attached to vehicles.

And a homemade bomb targeting a military convoy killed a soldier in the town of Baaj, 420 kilometres (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, a police official said.

Violence in Iraq has plunged dramatically since its peak in 2006-2007 but casualties from insurgent and military action still remain part of daily life.

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