Motorcycle bomb kills 15 in Iraq

The attack struck just four days before the deadline for US combat troops to withdraw from cities.

The wave of violence that has killed more than 200 people this week has raised fresh doubts about the ability of Iraqi forces to provide security as their American partners become less visible.

The explosion occurred just after 9 am when the market was packed with young people buying or selling motorcycles in central Baghdad, according to police and hospital officials.
Ghaith Abdul-Allah, 35, was unloading motorcycles he planned to sell from his truck when the blast occurred.

"I saw a ball of fire and some motorbikes were lifted about 10 meters (yards) into the air," he said. "When the smoke from the explosion vanished, I saw a large number of young men lying on the ground soaked in blood."

"There were others who were screaming and crying for a lost brother or a friend. I do not know why these explosions are taking place and the Iraqi security forces are doing nothing to stop them," he added.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, but insurgents frequently target crowded market districts to try to maximize casualties. The motorcycle bazaar is only open today.

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