Iraqi church seige ends with 39 deaths and dozens injured

Iraqi church seige ends with 39 deaths and dozens injured
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POSTED: Monday, November 1, 2010 - 1:41am

UPDATED: Monday, November 1, 2010 - 2:05am

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The death toll from the bloody siege of a Baghdad church rose Monday to 39 dead with dozens more injured, Iraqi officials said.

The standoff began at dusk Sunday when militants wearing suicide vests and armed with grenades attacked the nearby Iraqi stock exchange and then entered the nearby Our Lady of Deliverance church - one of Baghdad's main Catholic places of worship - taking about 120 Christians hostage.

Iraqi forces stormed the church later that evening, freeing the hostages and ending the standoff.  It was not immediately clear whether the hostages died at the hands of the attackers or during the rescue.

Officials said at least one priest and nine policemen were among the dead. Many of the wounded were women.

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