At least 117 killed in Iraqi village market blast


Jul 7, 2007

A boy is taken to a hospital in Kirkuk, Iraq, after a suicide car bomber attacked a village market.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A suicide car bomber targeting a busy market in a northern Iraqi village killed at least 117 people Saturday morning, a government official told CNN.

A truck laden with 2 tons of explosives detonated in an outdoor market in Amerli. The truck resembled an Iraqi military truck, according to an official at the Joint Coordination Center in the city of Tuz Khurmatu.

Amerli is a village predominantly populated by Shiite Turkmens and Kurds, about 100 miles north of Baghdad in Salaheddin province, near Tuz Khurmatu.

Some 265 people were wounded and at least 12 houses were badly damaged. Watch villagers rush victims off to hospitals » (

Survivors told The Associated Press that people may still be trapped after the blast.

"Some are still under the rubble with no one to help them. There are no ambulances to evacuate the victims," Haitham Hadad told AP. He had taken his brother to the Tuz Khurmatu hospital by car, AP reported.

Survivors were taken to several hospitals, including one in Kirkuk.

"I saw destruction everywhere, dozens of cars destroyed, about 15 shops and many houses, even some more than 700 meters (yards) away," witness Haitham Yalman told AP.

Bombers killed another 48 people late Friday in villages in Diyala province, officials told AP. In one attack, a suicide car bomb exploded near a market that stocks Iranian goods, killing 26. In another, a suicide attack in a funeral tent in a Shiite Kurdish village killed 22.

Later Saturday, six people, including five Iraqi soldiers, were killed and 22 were wounded when a suicide car bomb struck an Iraqi army checkpoint in southeastern Baghdad, the Interior Ministry said.

Also on Saturday 19 bullet-riddled bodies were found in Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said. They bring the total of unidentified bodies found in the capital during July to 113.

Meanwhile, 15 U.S. troops died in Iraq on Thursday and Friday.

Three sailors were killed Friday as "a result of enemy action" near Baghdad, the Department of Defense said Saturday. The sailors were assigned to an East Coast-based SEAL team, the DOD said.

One soldier was killed Friday, along with an Iraqi interpreter, when an "explosively formed penetrator" -- essentially a high-tech bomb -- exploded near their patrol in southeastern Baghdad. Three soldiers were wounded.

The U.S. military contends Iran supplies these high-tech bombs, which Tehran denies.

Two other soldiers were killed Friday when a homemade bomb exploded near their patrol in eastern Baghdad. The military said soldiers from the unit had recently arrested suspected insurgents.

Two Task Force Marne soldiers were killed and two were wounded in a roadside bombing on Friday south of Baghdad.

Also on Friday, a soldier died of a non-battle-related cause, which the military said it is investigating. No further details were provided.

On Thursday, two U.S. Marines and another four U.S. soldiers died in separate incidents.

The military said two soldiers died In western Baghdad -- one in a roadside bomb blast and another from combat wounds.

In southern Baghdad, two soldiers on patrol were killed when a "projectile" exploded, the command said.

West of the capital, two Marines were killed while fighting in Anbar province -- a mainly Sunni Arab desert region.

U.S. troop casualties in Iraq have been on the rise in recent months, correlating with the increase of troops there -- a buildup the Bush administration calls a "surge."

This year's April-June period was the deadliest three months for U.S. troops since the start of the war in March 2003.

The number of American military killed in the Iraq war ( stands at 3,605, including seven U.S. military contractors, according to a CNN count.

Also Saturday, a British soldier was killed in a bomb explosion in the southern Iraqi city of Basra ( during an operation staged overnight by British forces, the Ministry of Defense said.

Three soldiers were wounded -- one seriously -- when troops were hit by small arms fire and homemade bombs while operating in Basra's Jumhuriya district, the ministry said.

British troops found insurgent weapons and munitions during the operation, British officials said.

Since the start of the war, more than 150 British soldiers have been killed in Iraq