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Published: Tuesday March 4, 2014 MYT 5:11:06 PM
Updated: Tuesday March 4, 2014 MYT 5:11:52 PM

Gunmen storm government complex in Iraq's Samarra

TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - Gunmen in military uniform broke into the city council and court house complex in Samarra in northern Iraq on Tuesday, police and witnesses said.

At least 16 policemen and eight civilians were wounded including the deputy head of the city council, Ammar Ahmed, and a second council member, said Doctor Omar al-Obeidi at the Samarra hospital.

The fighters in military uniform stormed the site after a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the compound, which is sealed off with blast walls, Police Lieutenant Dhafir Ahmed said.

"The gunmen are in the council building," the police officer said. "Local council employees and court employees are trapped inside."

Samarra has long been troubled by unrest. Sunni militant groups have regularly attacked local Sunni government officials along with the Iraqi army and police.

(Additional reporting Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Ned Parker; Editing by Alison Williams)

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