12 Iraqis killed in drive-by shootings

Five separate shootings killed at least 15 Iraqis on Wednesday, including 11 civilians who were traveling to work in a company bus and the director of public relations at Iraq's Defense Ministry, police said.

Casualty figures from a suicide truck bomb attack in the northern city of Tal Afar on Tuesday night also rose to 22 dead and 134 wounded, officials said. The U.S. military flew some of the wounded to other cities when the local hospital was overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, efforts continued to reduce sectarian violence in Iraq.

Leaders of Sunni Arab, Shiite and Kurdish tribes met in Baghdad to discuss ways of promoting the unity of Iraq. U.N. envoy Ashraf Qazi was invited but was out of the country.

Legislators also met in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone to discuss procedural issues such as the formation of parliamentary committees.

Incoming Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Tuesday that he had almost finished assembling a Cabinet, the final step in establishing a national unity government. U.S. officials had predicted insurgents would step up attacks to try to block the new administration.

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said al-Maliki would soon launch a four-part plan to restore order by securing Baghdad, Basra and eight other cities, promoting reconciliation, building public confidence in the police and army and disbanding sectarian militias.

Wednesday's worst attack occurred about 9 a.m. near Baqouba, 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, when suspected insurgents riding in a car opened fire on a bus, killing at least 11 Iraqi passengers and wounding three, police said on condition of anonymity out of concern for their own safety, reports the AP.


Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Editorial Team