Attackers storm government building in Iraq; 21 dead

Attackers storm government building in Iraq; 21 dead
# 29 March 2011 20:02 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. At least 21 people died and 95 others were wounded when armed men attacked and took control of a government building in northern Iraq on Tuesday, Interior Ministry officials said, APA reports quoting CNN.
The gunmen, clad in police uniforms, clashed with the Iraqi police, and a suicide car bombing also was reported in the incident, which occurred in Tikrit, the capital of Salaheddin province.
"This coordinated attack in Tikrit bears the hallmark of al-Qaeda in Iraq and the attackers were planning to take all members of Salaheddin provincial council as hostages," a senior official with Tikrit police told CNN on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to media.
Among the dead are at least three Salaheddin provincial council members and the chief of Salaheddin police.
A number of gunmen inside the building were wearing explosive vests and at least two of attackers detonated their vests as Iraqi security forces approached, Tikrit police said.
Dozens of employees were held hostage inside the building, which houses the provincial council and other government offices.
Iraqi soldiers backed by U.S. troops were preparing to raid the building and free the hostages, Interior Ministry officials said.
Local TV in Tikrit showed video of smoke rising from the building, surrounded by Iraqi security forces, and aired the sounds of heavy gunfire.