Iraqi security forces stormed a Catholic church Sunday where gunmen suspected of having ties to al Qaeda were holding worshippers hostage, ending an hours-long standoff, police officials said Sunday.
Thirty-seven people were killed in the operation, including hostages, kidnappers and security workers, they said. At least seven of the dead were hostages, police officials said, while another 57 were wounded.
Eight suspects were arrested.
"All the marks point out that this incident carries the fingerprints of al Qaeda," Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul Qader Obeidi said on state television Sunday.