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14 die in Iraq drive-by shootings

Bodies of eight people who apparently had been kidnapped and tortured by death squads were also found.

india Updated: May 24, 2006 16:10 IST

A college student, a police officer, a shop owner, two street vendors and a taxi driver became the latest victims of drive-by shootings in Iraq on Wednesday.

The bodies of eight people who apparently had been kidnapped and tortured by death squads also were found in Baghdad and another area.

US forces also killed seven insurgents in two operations outside the capital, and a bomb set fire to an oil pipeline south of Baghdad, officials said.

Al-Maliki was scheduled later today to meet in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone with the prime minister of Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a staunch supporter of Bush.

Rasmussen and his defence minister, Soeren Gade, began their visit to Iraq on Tuesday by visiting the 530 Danish troops based near Basra, a southern city.

Rasmussen is the second world leader to visit Iraq since al-Maliki and his new government of Shiites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds was sworn in on Saturday.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who met with al-Maliki and his Cabinet on Monday, plans to discuss the coalition's strategy in Iraq during a summit with Bush in Washington this week.

In Wednesday's violence, a drive-by shooting killed a college student riding a minibus and wounded three other passengers in Baghdad, said police 1st Lt Maithem Abdel-Razaq.

The attackers then stopped the bus and kidnapped another college student, the officer said.

In western Baghdad a drive-by shooting killed police officer as he was heading to work, said Abdel-Razaq.