BAGHDAD - Roadside bombs killed eight American soldiers in attacks yesterday in Diyala province and Baghdad, and a car bomb claimed 30 more lives in a wholesale food market in a part of the Iraqi capital where sectarian tensions are on the rise.
In all, at least 95 Iraqis were killed or found dead nationwide yesterday, police reported. They included 12 policemen in Samarra, among them the city's police chief, who died when Sunni insurgents launched a suicide car bombing and other attacks on police headquarters.
The deadliest attack against U.S. forces occurred in Diyala, where six U.S. soldiers and a European journalist were killed when a massive bomb destroyed their vehicle, the U.S. military said. Two soldiers were wounded, the military said.
Two other GIs died yesterday in separate bombings in Baghdad.
The military yesterday also reported three other deaths - two Marines in a blast Saturday in Anbar province and a soldier who died yesterday in what was described as a non-combat incident in northern Iraq.
The market bombing occurred about noon in the Baiyaa district of western Baghdad, shattering vehicles, ripping roofs off nearby buildings and collapsing storefronts. Police said about 80 people were injured in addition to the 30 dead.
Following the horrific blast, blood pooled on the dirt streets. Hospital officials said two pickup trucks filled with body parts were brought to the morgue.
"I was waiting near a shop to lift some boxes, when I saw the owner of the shop collapse," said Sattar Hussein, 22, who works in the market. "I helped him inside the shop, but he was already dead. The next thing I felt was pain in my left shoulder and some people rushing me to the hospital."
No group claimed responsibility for the attack, which followed allegations by Sunni politicians that Shiite militias have resumed their campaign to expel Sunnis from Baiyaa.
The attacks in Samarra, a Sunni city 60 miles north of Baghdad, began when a suicide car bomber struck the police headquarters. Following the blast, dozens of insurgents - some wearing masks and wielding video cameras - opened fire on the building and at least one police checkpoint, witnesses said.
U.S. paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division came under small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire when they rushed to the scene, the U.S. military said. Two Americans were wounded and a vehicle was damaged.
The police chief, Col. Jalil Nahi Hassoun, and 11 other policemen were killed, officials said.
As the violence raged, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, warned on "Fox News Sunday" that Republican support could waver if President Bush's Iraq war policy does not succeed by the fall.
"By the time we get to September or October, members are going to want to know how well this is working, and if it isn't, what's Plan B?" Boehner said. *