Al-Qaeda-linked group claims responsibility for Iraq hostage attack
An Islamist insurgent group, The Islamic State of Iraq, claimed responsibility Saturday for hostage-taking incident this week which saw 65 people killed at a government building in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, DPA reported.
The group, which is linked to al-Qaeda, said in a statement published on Islamist websites that the attack was "response on the crimes committed against Sunni prisoners by security bodies of the province."
Five militants broke into the provincial council headquarters in Tikrit on Tuesday after exploding a car bomb. One blew up himself among security gathered at the scene of the blast, the statement said.
The remaining four militants entered and took control over the building and the people inside hostage. Gunfire between the militants and security trying to free the hostages took place for seven hours, the statement added.
Security forces then stormed the building but the operation resulted in 65 dead and another 95 injured.
Only 10 people were victims of the initial attack, according to state-run television said.
Tikrit, the capital of Salah El-Din province, became the scene of a number of insurgent attacks after the 2003 US-led invasion.
The Sunni-dominated city is the birthplace of Saddam Hussein.