4 Iraqi policemen killed in hourslong shootout at suspected Baghdad bomb workshop

By Bushra Juhi, AP
Saturday, August 7, 2010

Iraq: 4 policemen killed in overnight shootout

BAGHDAD — Gunmen killed four Iraqi policemen in an overnight shootout that lasted until dawn at a suspected bomb workshop in western Baghdad, security officials said.

Tipped off by a carjacking, the police trailed the suspects to a house in the mostly Sunni neighborhood of Saidiya, where they came under fire from an unknown number of gunmen.

The shooting lasted for hours until dawn, when the gunmen slipped away through a rear entrance, according to two Baghdad police officers and an Interior Ministry official.

Six policemen and five residents were also wounded in the shootout, the officials said. An emergency room worker at Yarmouk Hospital confirmed the casualties.

All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Once inside the house, police said they found a cache of bombs, chemicals and other devices to make explosives.

A car packed with explosives was also found in the garage, the security officials said, adding that a trail of fresh blood in the house indicates that at least one of the gunmen was injured in the clash.

Violence has dipped dramatically in Iraq, but shootouts and bombings are still common. Attacks on Iraqi security forces have stepped up in recent months as all but 50,000 U.S. military troops head home by the end of the month.

will not be displayed