BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A bomb killed four people and wounded 13 in a Baghdad vegetable market Monday, 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 U.S. 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 U.S.-led invasion, figures from the Ministry of Health showed.
The U.S. military says al Qaeda — whom it blames 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 U.S. forces in Iraq, Major-General David Perkins, told Reuters 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 Qaeda) are having a more difficult time recruiting suicide bombers to drive the vehicles,” he said.
Reporting by Haider Salahuddin; Additional reporting by Deborah Lutterbeck in Washington; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Andrew Roche