Drive-by shootings kill 17 people in Iraq
Police sais the casualties, all majority Shiites, appeared to be the latest victims of sectarian attacks by minority Sunni Arabs.india Updated: May 23, 2006 16:46 IST
At least 17 Iraqis were killed in attacks in Iraq on Tuesday, most of them in drive-by shootings in three provinces north of the capital, police said.
The attacks came a day after Iraq's new prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, and Britain's visiting leader, Tony Blair, announced that Iraqi security forces would start assuming full responsibility for some provinces and cities next month, beginning a process leading to the eventual withdrawal of all coalition forces.
They said, "responsibility for much of Iraq's territorial security should have been transferred to Iraqi control" by December.
At that point, al-Maliki said, two of Iraq's most violent provinces, Baghdad and Anbar, may be the last where coalition forces maintain control.
But Tuesday's violence north of Baghdad showed that goal might not be easy to achieve.
At 8:00 am, gunmen riding in an Opel sedan car shot and killed four ironsmiths and wounded one as they were riding a pickup truck to work in Mosul, the capital of Ninevah province, said police Brig Abdul-Hamid Khalaf.
In a drive-by shooting, attackers killed three Iraqi day labourers and wounded four as they drove by a minibus to work at a farm near Baqouba, 60 kms northeast of Baghdad.
Police said the casualties, all majority Shiites, appeared to be the latest victims of sectarian attacks by minority Sunni Arabs in Diyala province.