5 killed, 12 wounded in Iraq

BAGHDAD: Five people were killed Sunday in a daylight attack at a popular money exchange office, an unusual attack in a country where bombings are more common than robberies.

The gunmen broke into the al-Nibal money exchange office in downtown Baghdad shortly before noon, killing three employees and two customers, said two Iraqi police officials.

They said 12 others, including eight employees, were wounded in the attack in Baghdad's Karradah district.

A witness described a chaotic scene inside the office.

Mohammed Abbas, the owner of a next-door stationery store, said he saw three vehicles pull up to the exchange office, including one that blocked the street. He said five gunmen jumped out of the vehicles.

They began firing as soon as they walked into the office, he said.

Abbas said the gunmen appeared to try to open a safe but fled when they heard police sirens.

Police sealed off the area surrounding the money exchange office and are searching for the gunmen, the officials said. They said it was not known whether the gunmen made off with any money.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information to the media.