Masked gunmen attacked gold outlets in the Iraqi capital Tuesday, killing 15 people before they fled with a large quantity of gold, police and hospital officials said. According to the AP, the attackers came to the southwestern neighborhood of Baiyaa in five cars shortly before noon. They first set off a roadside bomb near the shops, killing four bystanders and injuring three, city police officials said.
Then they opened fire on 12 shops, killing nine gold shop owners or their workers and two bystanders. They threw percussion grenades into the shops as a distraction, then fled, police said.
A hospital official confirmed the number of casualties.
As Iraq's sectarian bloodshed has ebbed, a new threat from violent crime has cropped up and jewelry stores have been frequent targets.