An attack on a shopping mall in northern Iraq on Wednesday has left several people dead.
The violent takeover of the complex involved a car bomb and several armed fighters that stormed the location.
Kurdistan TV released footage of the raid on the mall that was preceded by the attack on the main security headquarters in Kirkuk, which is located adjacent to the shopping center. A car bomb exploded outside the headquarters, after which a bomber entered the Police Intelligence Department building and detonated his explosive device, officials said.
The exact number of casualties in the attack remained uncertain Wednesday night. Ahram Online reported that at least nine people were killed. But according to Al Jazeera, four were killed. And an unnamed source speaking with Al Jazeera claimed that “local sources are saying that 25 people have died, but others say it is much higher."
Following the detonation of the car bomb, several of the gunmen took shoppers in the center hostage. This lead to the gunfight between security officers and the militants as the gunmen took over the expansive, five-story building. Many of the gunmen wore suicide vests and Ahram Online reports that provincial health chief Sabah Mohammed Amin said that more than 70 were wounded in the incident.
According to Al Jazeera, one armed fighter has already been captured alive. And local governor, Negm El Deen Omar, says the police are searching for the remaining hostage-takers.