BAGHDAD (AP) – Gunmen stormed a Baghdad money exchange and killed three people Thursday, the latest in recent brash daylight attacks on banks, financial and trade centers in the Iraqi capital, many of which have been blamed on insurgents.
Police officials did not immediately know how much money was stolen in the 2 p.m. heist in the southeastern New Baghdad neighborhood. Fleeing the scene, the gunmen also threw flash bombs into a crowd of people responding to the shooting.
Hospital officials confirmed three people were killed, including the owner of the money exchange. Five passers-by were wounded.
Overall violence has decreased, but attacks still occur daily across Iraq.
Insurgents, suspected of trying to steal funding for their operations, have increasingly been blamed for heists on banks and financial centers. An al-Qaida front group claimed responsibility for June strikes against the Central Bank of Iraq, the nation’s treasury, and the Trade Bank of Iraq, a state-run investment center. Together, those heists killed at least 44 people and wounded scores more as the Islamic State of Iraq gloated over its ease in penetrating security to pull off the attacks.
Earlier, police officials said three traffic policemen were killed in drive-by shootings late Wednesday in western Baghdad while gunmen stormed the house of a policeman, killing him, his wife and a relative.
The shootings raised to at least five the number of traffic policemen killed since Tuesday in Baghdad. Police and health officials said at least seven traffic policemen have been wounded over the same period in Iraq’s capital.
In the Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad, gunmen stormed a policeman’s house, killing him, his wife and a relative, police officials said.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.