Eight killed in Baghdad jewellers heist

Gunmen shot dead three jewellery shop owners in the Iraqi capital today, in a heist that also left two robbers and three security personnel killed in a gunbattle.

Updated: Oct 17, 2010, 23:33 PM IST

Baghdad: Gunmen shot dead three jewellery shop owners in the Iraqi capital today, in a heist that also left two robbers and three security personnel killed in a gunbattle, the Interior Ministry said.

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 today, 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 Km 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.

Bureau Report