Baghdad: Al-Qaida`s front group in Iraq
claimed responsibility on Thursday for a deadly daylight attack on
Iraq`s Central Bank.
In a statement posted on a militant website, the Islamic
State of Iraq said it sent five men dressed in army uniforms
and armed with weapons and explosive belts to attack the
Photos posted on the same website showed the disfigured
heads and body parts of men dressed in army fatigues buried in
the rubble of what al-Qaida said is the Central Bank.
Video surveillance footage from the Central Bank seen by
an Associated Press reporter showed an armed man dressed in
army fatigues storm in the bank`s back door and exchange fire
with security guards. He is shot in the leg and falls to the
ground before his explosive vest detonates. Two other
militants then flee the bank while shooting behind them, then
set off their vests.
Sunday`s assault sparked clashes between militants and
Iraqi security forces that lasted more than three hours and
left more than 20 people dead.
It stoked fears that insurgents are taking advantage of
political deadlock following March 7 elections to try to
derail security gains as the US prepares to withdraw its
forces by the end of next year.