Gunmen in Iraq Storm Provincial Council Building

Posted June 14th, 2011 at 1:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Iraqi police say insurgents stormed a provincial government compound Tuesday, killing eight people and wounding at least 24 others.

Witnesses and officials said the attackers detonated two car bombs near the entrance of the compound where a provincial council was preparing to hold its weekly meeting in Baquba, the capital of Diyala province. Security officials said at least five gunmen entered the compound, opening fire and two of the gunmen set off suicide bombs.

Authorities say U.S.-assisted Iraqi forces regained control of the building after killing all of the gunmen. The U.S. military says its forces provided “observational support” from helicopters during the operation.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack mirrored an assault on a provincial headquarters in Tikrit in March that killed 58 people. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for that attack.

The attack raises concerns about the strength of Iraqi security forces as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw in a few months.

In other violence Tuesday, the U.S. reports two U.S. service members were killed Monday while conducting operations in southern Iraq. The Defense Department is investigating but has not released details.