BAGHDAD - A minibus carrying new army recruits was blown up by a suicide car bomber in Baghdad Monday, killing 14 people, in the latest attack in the capital despite a massive security clampdown.

The minibus was rammed by a car rigged with explosives right next to Muthanna recruiting center, an old airport in the western sector of the city, said interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Abdel Karim Khalaf.

Recruiting and training Iraqis to join the security services is seen as key to restoring stability in the war torn country and allowing US-led forces eventually to leave.

A joint US-Iraq operation is underway in Baghdad to restore stability.

In another attack, a car bomb went off near a row of shops on eastern Baghdad's Palestine street wounding four people, while two other bombs elsewhere in the city wounded three others.

In the south of country, gunmen killed a policemen at his home in the southeastern city of Kut and in the Shiite holy city of Karbala the body of a security official from the former regime was found shot dead.

Also in the south, in the city of Diwaniyah, a security official reported discovering the body of a translator who had worked for US-led forces and had been kidnapped several days earlier.

He had been shot three times in the head.

Near the northern oil hub of Kirkuk, a policemen was shot dead by a sniper as he left his office while to the west of the city, car bomber tried to ram his vehicle into a police checkpoint and was shot. His car detonated without injuring anyone, said police captain Emad Khidr.

Gunmen in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad shot dead a soldier and injured a policeman while a roadside bomb killed a man and left his son seriously ounded.

Near the main market in Baquba, Diyala's capital, one civilian was killed and another wounded in an attack at a bus station and an employee at the local sewage plant was shot dead on his way home.

Police reported also discovering two bodies in two different places in the province.

In Babel province, just south of Baghdad, three bodies were found in various spots, police said, adding that all were in their 20s and had been blindfolded, tortured and shot.

Another body was found south of Baghdad in the Tigris river near the town of Suweira.

09/11/2006 13:24 GMT

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