BEIJING,March 31 (Xinhuanet) -- Provincial authorities announced a three-day mourning from the hostage-taking attack that took place at a provincial council building Tuesday. The death toll from the incident has risen to 65. About 100 people have been wounded.
No group is claiming responsibility for the strike, but Iraqi officials were quick to blame al-Qaida in Iraq for the slaughter. The coordinated attack took place around midday when about 10 gunmen in police uniforms stormed the provincial council building in central Tikrit and held a number of hostages in the building.
Iraqi security force surrounded the building and engaged in heavy fighting with the gunmen. Hours later, US and Iraqi SWAT teams stormed the building and killed the attackers. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says he will launch an investigation into how the government compound could be so easily overrun by insurgents.
Special Report: Situation in Iraq