Dozens of hostages trapped as gunmen attack Baghdad mall

Dozens of hostages trapped as gunmen attack Baghdad mall
Gunmen have detonated a car bomb and raided a popular shopping centre in a mainly Shia region of Baghdad, reportedly taking between 50 and 75 hostages.
1 min read
11 January, 2016
Archive image: Iraqi police search for explosives at a checkpoint in Baghdad in June [AFP]
Gunmen have killed at least ten people after setting off a car bomb at the entrance to a shopping mall in mainly Shia eastern Baghdad.

The attackers, whose identity remains unknown, also wounded at least 25 more, as they raced inside and took hostages, Iraqi officials said.

Between 50 and 75 people are thought to be trapped inside the Jawhara mall, said police sources speaking on condition of anonymity.

They said gunmen could be seen on the roof of the shopping centre, which was surrounding by police and soldiers.

The officials said at least three police were among the dead.

"When the security forces got too close, they killed three hostages," a police officer told AFP.

"We are taking a cautious approach now. We want this attack to end with the lowest possible number of causalities," the officer added.

He described the mall as a building of four or five floors in a busy commercial area of Baghdad al-Jadida, a populous Shia-majority area on the eastern edge of the Iraqi capital.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.