At least 18 dead, dozens wounded during siege of Baghdad shopping mall

Posted at 1:07 PM, Jan 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-11 13:07:31-05

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi police say the standoff is over at a shopping mall in Baghdad. They say gunmen set off a car bomb at the entrance to the mall, killing at least 18 people and wounding 50 others as they raced inside and took hostages.

Iraqi forces soon surrounded the building, in a mainly Shiite section of the capital, and landed troops on the roof. They clashed with the attackers inside, killing two of them and arresting another four.

Officials say at least four police officers were among those killed in the assault, which lasted around an hour and a half.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Islamic State group often targets the country’s Shiite majority.

Following the attack, authorities shut down the city’s highly fortified Green Zone, home to a number of foreign embassies and most of the country’s political elite. A number of major roads, shopping malls and bridges around the Iraqi capital were also closed for fear of follow-up attacks.

During the evening, a car bomb in southeast Baghdad in a crowded market area killed five and wounded 12, according to hospital and police officials.