Qaeda-style attack kills 8 in Iraq

The gunmen involved in the attack in Diyala’s provincial capital of Baquba exchanged gunfire with Iraqi security forces, holding them at bay, and took hostages in the siege that lasted nearly three hours.

Large numbers of Iraqi police and soldiers were deployed to the scene, with military helicopters hovering overhead and periodically firing onto the building during the siege, an AFP reporter said.

The attack, in which 17 people were wounded, raises concerns over the capabilities of Iraq's security forces, with just months to go before US soldiers must leave the country under the terms of a bilateral security pact.

The US military, engaged in support missions since ending combat operations in August, said its helicopters provided “observation support” to Iraqi forces, but “played no role in the response to attack.”

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