Baghdad Hostage Crisis Resolved

Iraqi security forces have ended a hostage crisis at a government building in Baghdad, but there are conflicting reports about the number of casualties.

Officials said the six men who had stormed the transport ministry facility and taken several hostages were killed.

Two policemen who had been guarding the building also died, they added. But one security source put the toll at 18.

No group has claimed responsibility, though Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda have mounted similar attacks.

Violence has surged across Iraq in the past year, reaching levels not seen since the height of the sectarian insurgency in 2007.

The United Nations says 7,818 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces died in 2013. More than 900 people are reported to have been killed since the start of the year.

Courtesy BBC World News

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