Middle East

Iraq jewellery shop attacks leave 10 dead in Kirkuk

A wounded man is comforted in hospital after attacks on jewellery shops in Kirkuk
Image caption At least 11 people were wounded in the attack

Gunmen have attacked jewellery shops at a market in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, killing 10 people.

Reports said the dead included several policemen, as well as the owners of one shop and a number of customers, including a child.

The attackers, who were armed with hand grenades and other weapons, fled after a gunfight with the police.

It was not immediately clear if they were insurgents or members of a criminal gang.

Correspondents say that while the overall level of violence has fallen in Iraq, criminal activity has recently been on the rise. This year has seen a series of attacks on banks, jewellers and financial institutions.

Gunmen killed 14 people in a raid on a gold market in Baghdad in May, and in June three people were killed in a similar incident in the southern city of Basra.

The Iraqi authorities have often blamed insurgents for such attacks, accusing them of turning to crime to fund their operations.

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