Baghdad: At least seven people were killed and another 20 injured on Monday as two suicide bombers attacked a crowded shopping mall in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, officials said.
Major General Abdul Amir al-Shimary, commander of Baghdad Operations Command, said that the evening attack started when a booby-trapped car exploded at the entrance of al-Jawhara Mall in Baghdad's al-Jadida district, with the two suicide bombers storming the mall building following the blast, Xinhua reported.
The suicide bombers opened fire as they ran into the mall, however security guards shot one of them, discharging the bomb which then blew him up. The second assailant was also forced to detonate himself, al-Shimary told reporters, confirming that the attackers could not have taken civilians as hostages since they were killed within the vicinity of the mall entrance.
The ministry source had said earlier that the attackers entered the shopping centre with a number of civilians as hostages. Meanwhile, a source from the interior ministry anonymously said that security sources regained control of the mall once they killed the two suicide bombers.
The source added that at least seven people were killed, while 20 others were injured during the attack. Iraqi security forces then cordoned off the scene, deployed themselves out to surround the area, while helicopters flew overhead to secure the place, according to the source.