A suicide truck bomber has set off his explosives in a rural Iraqi village, killing more than a hundred people and injuring more than 250 others. As VOA's Margaret Besheer reports from northern Iraq, the town was home to minority ethnic Turkmen.

The bomber struck early Saturday when many shoppers were in the market in the normally quiet village of Amrli.

The force of the blast leveled shops and mud-brick homes and rescuers spent hours digging victims from the rubble.

This witness says the situation is disastrous. He says the terrorists have targeted innocents -- the elderly and children. He says there are no police or American troops in Amrli, only the poor.

The farming village of Amrli, in the northern province of Salahaddin, is home to mostly minority ethnic Turkmen. The closest town is Tuz Khormatu, about 45 kilometers to the north, where many of the wounded were taken for treatment. Officials say some were also taken to hospitals in other provinces.

Local authorities immediately blamed the bombing on al-Qaida. Spectacular car and truck bombing attacks, like the one in Amrli, are a hallmark of the Sunni terrorist group.

As rescuers continue to sift through the rubble, officials caution that the death toll could rise.