x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Bomb in Baghdad kills 4 and wounds 13

All casualties at the market are civilians. The attack happened days after three US soldiers were killed in same market.

BAGHDAD // A bomb killed four people and wounded 13 in a Baghdad vegetable market today, police and witnesses said, in the second attack there in just over two weeks. Police said the death toll from the blast in Baghdad's Doura district in the early hours, when farmers and merchants gather at the market, was unlikely to rise further. On May 21, a bomb in the same market killed three US soldiers and 12 civilians.

"All of a sudden there was an explosion. People were torn apart and killed and wounded. Why? For nothing," said a man who gave his name as Abu Haider, who said he had helped some of the casualties. "Do you see an American soldier here? Or an Iraqi soldier? There are just traders." The number of Iraqi civilians killed by violence fell last month to its lowest level since the 2003 US-led invasion, figures from the Ministry of Health showed.

The US military says al Qa'eda, who blame the US for most of the blasts in Iraq, has been weakened and recent attacks represent an attempt to show they are still around. The spokesman for US forces in Iraq, Major-General David Perkins, said last week the Sunni Islamist militants were running out of suicide bombers, forcing them to leave more bombs on roadsides, a less effective means of killing. "The majority of the vehicle-borne (bombs) we've seen in the last couple of months are abandoned vehicles ... on a timer. It is instructive that they (al Qa'eda) are having a more difficult time recruiting suicide bombers to drive the vehicles," he said.

* Reuters