March 29, This day during the Iraq War

March 29, 2011 – The 2011 Tikrit assault was an attack by Al-Qaeda in Iraq that took place in the city of Tikrit, Iraq, on the 29 March 2011, while the war was still ongoing. Reuters news agency included the attack in its list of deadliest attacks in 2011. The Al-Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility for killing 65 people and wounding over 100. At the time the United States Armed Forces were withdrawing. Tikrit was Saddam Hussein’s birthplace. On 29 March 2011, gunmen from Al-Qaeda in Iraq wearing suicide belts hidden under military uniforms entered Tikrit, Iraq. The men presented themselves as Iraqi soldiers when they arrived at the security checkpoint. After being told they needed to be searched, they open fired on the guards. Around 1 p.m., attackers blew up a car to create a diversion by the council headquarters. Following the car bombing, the gunmen proceeded to take control over the second floor of the Saladin provincial council’s headquarters. The provincial council meets every Tuesday, but according to Ali Abdul Rihman, a spokesperson for the governor, the local politicians had ended the meeting early because there was little to cover on their agenda. Therefore many had already left the building. The gunmen did execute three councilmen, including Abdullah Jebara who was an outspoken critic of Al-Qaeda and terrorists, with shots to their heads and set fire to their bodies in front of the hostages. Insurgents were still carrying out attacks during the U.S. withdrawal and the transfer of powers to the Iraqis. As security reinforcements were arriving, another car bomb went off at the entrance of the council building. A five hour standoff ensued. Ahmed Abdullah, Salahuddin’s governor, explained a fierce shootout between what he believed to be at least eight gunmen that had taken over the council building, hurling grenades at the Iraqi security forces that surrounded the building. Fifteen hostages were killed execution style during the captivity. The attack also killed two journalists, who were Sabah al-Bazi and Muammar Khadir Abdelwahad. Both journalists were covering a provincial council meeting. Iraqi Army forces together with US troops stormed the building, at which point the attackers blew up their explosives, which brought an end to the standoff. The bodies of six attackers were taken to the hospital where sources say the cause of death for two of the bodies had occurred from detonating their vest, while the other four deaths were the result of gun shot wounds. Several U.S. troops were said to have been wounded by a military spokespersonn. This incident killed 65 people and wounded 100. Several days later Al-Qaeda in Iraq officially claimed credit for the attack

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