Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 11:14 UK

New bomb blast at Baghdad market


The attack is the latest in a recent series of major bomb attacks on civilians

At least 13 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a bomb attack in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The bomb, planted on a motorbike at a motorcycle market in the city centre, was the latest in a recent series of major attacks on civilian targets.

On Wednesday some 70 people were killed in the Sadr City area of Baghdad.

American troops are scheduled to pull out of all Iraqi cities by next Tuesday. Officials say the attacks will not affect their plans.

The motorbike market, which only takes place on Fridays, has been targeted by bombers in the past.

"People burned and bodies were thrown everywhere," said witness Omar Hashem, who was covered in blood.

"At first we ran away but we returned to help the victims," he told the AFP news agency.

Maytham Abdelamir, a local trader, also told AFP: "There was a huge shockwave. I saw so many people burned. Others were thrown in the air. My friend was killed."

24 Jun: 70 dead, Baghdad
20 Jun: 60 dead, Kirkuk
10 Jun: 20 dead, near Nasiriyah

On Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki - speaking in the wake of recent bombings - tried to reassure the Iraqi people that his forces could protect them.

He said the attacks were part of a plan to "awaken sectarianism and create chaos, and prevent the Iraqi people from standing on their own feet".

But correspondents say the latest bombings are raising questions about the ability of Iraqi security forces to combat a determined insurgency when the Americans pull back.

The BBC's Jim Muir, in Baghdad, says residents of Sadr City are angry, and accuse the Iraqi security forces of not doing enough to protect them as US troops complete their withdrawal.

The US troop pullout from urban areas is a significant element of an agreement between Washington and the Iraqi government, under which all US soldiers are due to leave Iraq by 2012.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific