Sunday, August 22nd 2010 2:41 PM
Baghdad, Aug. 22 (AKnews) – Unidentified gunmen riding several cars in western Baghdad stole on Sunday the payrolls of the employees of the Veterinary College worth 900 million Iraqi Dinars, approximately $800,000, said a source.
The security source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told AKnews, "Unknown gunmen in several cars carrying silencer guns stopped a government car near Khadra Bank in western Baghdad that was carrying a number of Veterinary College employees."
"The gunmen forced the car’s passengers to leave…and then escaped to an unknown location."
The source added none of the employees were harmed and the armed robbery only took five minutes.
Security forces arrived at the site of the incident and started a search operation in the area, said the source.
The Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaeda-affiliated group, had claimed responsibility in the past for several bank attacks.
Iraqi authorities believe the group’s assaults on banks are an attempt to fund its operations as its external funding has decreased to a large extent in the recent months with the death of its top two leaders.
In July, gunmen stormed Iraq’s Central Bank and fought with security forces for hours before the forces could bring the situation under control. The attack left around 26 people dead.
Iraq’s security has considerably deteriorated in recent months as the country’s political leaders have failed to reach a deal on forming a new government for the country, five months after the parliamentary elections.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that the robbery took place at a bank, which is incorrect. Also the payrolls did not belong to the employees of Baghdad's Veterinary Office, as the earlier version suggested, but to the College of Veterinary.