Death toll climbs to 65 in Iraq hostage crisis
The death toll from a hostage-taking at a provincial council in north-central Iraq reached 65 with another 95 injured, a news report said Wednesday.
Ten of the assailants were among the dead, state television Al-Iraqiya reported.
On Tuesday, Iraqi security forces stormed the provincial council headquarters in Tikrit, 140 kilometres north-west of Baghdad, to free hostages taken by gunmen hours earlier, DPA reported.
The gunmen, many wearing police uniforms, had set off two car bombs outside the provincial council's headquarters and exchanged fire with security units before storming the building and taking several hostages, including elected officials.
Ten people were killed in the gunmen's initial attack, Al-Iraqiya said Tuesday. The victims included an Al Arabiya correspondent, the Arabic broadcaster reported.
Among those killed in the aftermath and rescue were four generals of the military police and a number of local officials and civilians, police said Tuesday.
No group had claimed responsibility for the attack. Witnesses said Salah el-Din province, of which Tikrit is the capital, had been relatively calm the past several weeks until Tuesday's incident.
People were still missing from the attack with relatives searching for their family members in nearby hospitals as a military curfew was imposed on the province.