13 killed in 2 attacks in Baghdad

Gunmen stopped a minibus and killed all eight Iraqis aboard it in Baghdad on Thursday, and a roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol in the capital, killing five Iraqis and wounding nine, officials said.

Elsewhere, 15 tae kwon do athletes were kidnapped in western Iraq while driving to a training camp in neighboring Jordan, and coalition forces killed three insurgents and wounded 10 in fighting in and around the northern city of Mosul, the U.S. command said.

The victims of the Baghdad minibus attack were seven car mechanics heading to work and their driver. The gunmen ordered all of them off the vehicle in a remote area of southwestern Baghdad and shot them one after another, said police 1st Lt. Maithem Abde-Razaq.

Iraqis often pay small fees to commute to work on privately owned minibuses in cities such as Baghdad.

In the capital's northern neighborhood of Waziriya, a parked car bomb exploded near a police patrol on Thursday morning, killing two policemen and three civilians, and wounding nine Iraqis: two officers and seven bystanders, said police Lt. Col. Falah al-Mohamadawi.

The kidnapping of the 15-member Iraqi tae kwon do players occurred Wednesday on a road between the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, one of the most violent areas of Iraq regarding fighting between U.S. forces and insurgents. The athletes were members of a private sports club that hopes to one day send athletes to the Olympics.

"We are negotiating with the kidnappers who are demanding US$100,000 in ransom. We are doing our best to ensure their release," said Jamal Abdel-Karim, an official with the Iraqi Olympic Committee, which oversees professional and amateur sports teams.

Iraq generally competes in Summer Olympics.

In Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraqi and U.S. forces killed three insurgents and wounded 10 in two separate gunbattles Wednesday, the U.S. command said, reports the AP.

I.L.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team