Baghdad motorbike bombing kills 5

BAGHDAD: Five people were killed and 10 others wounded when a motorcyle bomb exploded near a cinema in a crowded area of eastern Baghdad on Tuesday, police said.

The attack occurred at around 7 pm (1600 GMT) in the predominantly Shiite Muslim neighbourhood of Baghdad Jadida (new Baghdad), said a police officer, who declined to be identified.

The bombing coincided with a visit to Baghdad by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who is assessing the security situation after US troops withdrew from urban centres at the end of June.

Violence had dropped markedly throughout the country in recent months but attacks increased in the run-up to the US military pullback, with 437 Iraqis killed in June -- the highest death toll in 11 months.

Attacks remain particularly common in Baghdad and the restive northern city of Mosul.