Iraqi security forces have sealed off the area surrounding the Sayidat al-Nejat church, the officials said. They do not know how many people are inside. At least 13 hostages, including two children, managed to escape, police said.
The gunmen are demanding that the Iraqi government release a number of detainees and prisoners inside Iraqi prisons, saying the Christian hostages will be freed in return, according to the police officials.
The gunmen seized the hostages after attacking the Baghdad Stock Market, in the central part of the Iraqi capital, earlier Sunday, police said. Four armed men entered the nearby church after clashing with Iraqi security forces trying to repel the stock market attack.
Two guards were killed and four others were wounded, according to the officials.
The attackers also remotely detonated two car bombs outside the stock exchange, police said.
Let’s see how things develop.