Bank raid gun battle kills 15

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Gunmen trying to rob Iraq's central bank battled security forces for hours yesterday after bombs ripped through a nearby area, leaving at least 15 people dead, the Iraqi military said.

A senior security official said initial reports indicated no money had been stolen from the bank's vaults. The violence began with a number of bombs that exploded within 10 minutes of each other in a market near the bank in central Baghdad as employees were leaving for the day.

The blasts came a day before the Iraqi parliament was scheduled to convene, more than three months after inconclusive March elections.