Gunmen are holding as many as 10 people hostage in a church in central Baghdad, police said today.
Officials said two policemen have been killed and eight people wounded in the violence, which began with a grenade attack on the stock exchange. The gun battle was still raging tonight.
A Baghdad policeman said the gunmen fled from the stock exchange to one of the main Catholic churches in Baghdad and opened fire on police.
The hostages are believed to be cleaning and construction crews who were working in the church when the shootout began.
A worker at the Ibn al-Nafis hospital confirmed the casualties.