Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 14:37 UK

Baghdad bank robbers kill eight

A police car stands outside the Rafidain bank in Baghdad's Karrada district on 28 July, after the robbery there
All eight people killed were bank security guards, police say

Suspected insurgents have robbed a central Baghdad bank of the equivalent of about $7m (£4m) in Iraqi dinars, killing eight guards, reports say.

The guards at the state-owned Rafidain bank in Karrada district were found bound, gagged and shot in a basement, a bank employee told AFP news agency.

Officials speaking on condition of anonymity said they believed insurgents had carried out the overnight robbery.

A raid on a Baghdad bureau de change left four dead on Sunday.

Now robberies have become like foreign movies - they steal and kill and disappear
Unnamed bank employee

Security sources initially believed the bank attackers used weapons equipped with silencers but later reports suggest they used pillows to muffle the sound of the gunshots while killing the guards.

It appears that the robbery was mounted shortly after a large sum of cash was delivered to the bank.

"I have never seen such a brutal crime," an employee at the bank told AFP, declining to give her name out of fear for her safety.

"Now robberies have become like foreign movies - they steal and kill and disappear."

A US military spokesman, Maj David Shoupe, said he could not confirm the attack had been mounted by insurgents.

But, he told the Associated Press news agency, "it does fit past trends of terrorist groups in Iraq of financing their operations through crimes - like kidnappings for ransom, robberies and black marketeering".

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