Baghdad Gunmen Kill 8, Grab $7M in Bank Heist

Theft may be to back insurgency: official
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 28, 2009 9:14 AM CDT
Iraqi police load victims killed in a bank robbery into a truck in central Baghdad today.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Gunmen killed eight security guards and made off with nearly $7 million today during an early morning robbery at a bank in central Baghdad that police say is the work of insurgents attempting to finance their operations. It’s the second deadly robbery in a week in Baghdad's commercial Karradah district. A special committee made up of Iraqi army, police and bank officials was formed to investigate.

The gunmen broke into the state-run Rafidain Bank at about 4am, killing three on-duty guards and five others on the premises, who were either on a break or asleep, said an Iraqi police official. Investigators believe the gunmen used silenced weapons during the attack because witnesses and neighbors didn't hear any gunshots. Although violence has dropped dramatically over the past two years, the number of robberies in Iraq appears to be on the rise.