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Failed bank heist in Baghdad leaves 3 dead

Sept. 30, 2010: Iraqi policemen stand guard outside the branch of the state-run al-Rafidain bank in southwestern Baghdad, Iraq.

Sept. 30, 2010: Iraqi policemen stand guard outside the branch of the state-run al-Rafidain bank in southwestern Baghdad, Iraq.  (AP)

A gang using bombs and automatic weapons tried to storm a bank in Baghdad in a failed robbery Thursday that officials said left three people dead, including two policemen.

Police say the assault began with four bombs exploding near the state-run Al-Rafidain bank in southwestern Baghdad. In the ensuing gunbattle, two policemen and a bystander were shot dead.

Two of the robbers were captured. Police and hospital officials said a total of six people were wounded, including three policemen.

Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said it was unclear whether the gang had political links or was purely criminal.

Baghdad has been hit recently by a wave of attacks on security officials and government workers as well as a number of high profile bank robberies.

The security officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.