The gunmen took hostages at the Our Lady of Salvation Church, one of Baghdad’s largest and demanded the release of al Qaeda prisoners in Iraq and Egypt…

Officials say some of the attackers blew up explosives vests or threw grenades during the raid.

Officials said the attackers threatened to kill the 120 hostages unless al Qaeda prisoners in Iraq and Egypt were freed.

A Christian lawmaker denounced the performance of Iraqi security forces in the incident and said the lack of a new government in Iraq almost eight months after an inconclusive election was being exploited by insurgents.