The FINANCIAL — Casualty reports of an attack on Iraq's Central Bank in the capital Baghdad vary, with various sources saying the attack claimed the lives of at least 16 people, according to RIA Novosti.
Al Jazeera earlier said at least 16 people have been killed and 45 others wounded in numerous blasts which rocked Baghdad on June 13, a day before the second parliament since the 2003 overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime was to convene.
At least 24 people were killed, the Los Angeles Times said, while AP said 26 people died.
In addition, bodies of seven suspected attackers were found when police entered the building four hours after the assault began.
Most of the victims are bank employees, who were getting ready to leave home when the attack began.
The attack began when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a local electricity substation, and several dozens of attackers entered the building. Up to twelve explosions are thought to follow as the gunmen took control of the bank.
The attackers are also believed to post snipers on the roof of the bank in an attempt to prevent police and soldiers from entering the building.
Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta Moussawi, spokesman for security forces in Baghdad, was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying on the national TV that robbery was not the motive for the attack.
"They didn't steal anything," he told the state broadcaster Al Iraqiya. "Their purpose was to sabotage, and though we can't accuse anyone now, the fingerprints of Al Qaeda are very obvious."