More than 50 Catholic worshippers have been rescued in Iraq after being held hostage for several hours in one of Baghdad’s biggest churches, the church of Our Lady of Salvation.
The drama is believed to have begun when gunmen detonated three bombs outside the building and then engaged security forces in a firefight.
Five attackers are said to have been killed during the rescue operation as well as one policeman and one church-goer. Twelve others were wounded.
Federal police say the gunmen had demanded the release of all al Qaeda prisoners in Iraq and Egypt.