String of Attacks Kill 12 in Iraq

The Associated Press
Thursday, June 29, 2006; 6:55 AM

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A trash collector and the head of security for Baghdad University were killed in separate drive-by shootings Thursday as a string of attacks nationwide left a dozen people dead, most in the capital, police said.

The violence came a day after insurgent and government officials said 11 militant groups have offered an immediate halt to all attacks _ including those on American troops _ if the United States agrees to withdraw foreign forces from Iraq in two years.

Withdrawal is the centerpiece of a set of demands from the groups, which operate north of Baghdad in the heavily Sunni Arab provinces of Salahuddin and Diyala. Although much of the fighting has been to the west, those provinces are increasingly violent and attacks there have crippled oil and commerce routes.

The attack against the trash collector, a Shiite, took place early Thursday in western Baghdad, police Capt. Jamil Hussein said.

Gunmen in a civilian car also intercepted a car carrying Kadhim Challoub, who was in charge of the guards at Baghdad University, ordered his driver and his guard out, then killed the security chief on the eastern side of the capital, according to police Lt. Mohammad Khayoun.

He also said a roadside bomb aimed at a police patrol missed its target but killed one civilian and wounded another in northern Baghdad.

Two merchants were shot to death near the civil defense office as they were waiting for a car to take them to work in the predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhood of Sadiyah in southwestern Baghdad, Hussein said.

Elsewhere in the capital, according to police, a baker was killed when a bomb exploded near his workplace in the insurgent stronghold of Dora, and an electrical worker was gunned down while he was heading to work in a predominantly Sunni area of western Baghdad.

A bomb exploded in southern Baghdad as well, killing a woman and wounding her three sons as they were in their car, police Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razzaq said.

Police also found the body a man who had been blindfolded, handcuffed and shot in the head in western Baghdad.

Gunmen on a motorcycle also killed a policeman and attackers firing from a car shot to death a 34-year-old man working in a construction equipment shop in separate attacks in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, local health official Abdul-Salam al-Zamily said.

Iraqi police in the northern city of Kirkuk found the body of a 15-year-old girl who had been kidnapped five days ago, Brig. Sarhat Qadir said.

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