Monday, June 14, 2010

Bombs target Iraq central bank, 12 killed

At liraqeast one bomb exploded on Sunday at an entrance to Iraq's central bank, killing 12 people and sending a thick plume of smoke over Baghdad after setting the bank's generator on fire, officials said.

Troops were immediately deployed to surround the central bank in case the attack, which wounded 20 people, was part of a plan to rob the institution of the huge piles of Iraqi dinars and US dollars held in its vaults.

Recent weeks have seen a spurt of deadly gold market robberies and attacks by suspected Sunni Islamist insurgents as tensions simmer following an inconclusive election in March that produced no outright winner.

"We deployed security forces around the bank to prevent any attempt to rob the central bank," said Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim Al-Moussawi.  

A police source said the attack, which took place a day before Iraq's new parliament was due to hold its first session, involved up to four bombs. It was not initially apparent whether suicide bombers, car bombs or roadside bombs were used in the blasts which took place as bank employees were leaving work.

Overall violence in Iraq has fallen sharply since the height of sectarian bloodshed in 200 6/07. But Sunni Islamist insurgents have sought to exploit the political uncertainty that followed the March 7 election to try to reignite broad sectarian warfare through bombings and assassinations.   - Reuters

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