56 Killed in al-Qaeda Attack of Government Building in Tikrit

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Gunmen wearing military uniforms over explosives belts charged into a government building in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit on Tuesday in an attack that left 56 people dead, including 15 hostages who were shot execution-style.

About eight or nine insurgents were involved in the attack that began about 1:00 p.m. local time and last about four hours. A car was blown up immediately before the attack, apparently as a diversion. An intense shootout ended with 56 dead and about 100 injured when the insurgents blew themselves up.

Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda are suspected in the attack.

U.S. troops are scheduled to leave at the end of the year.

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BBC News Middle East Iraq blames al-Qaeda for Tikrit attack