Insurgents in Iraq facing the threat of a U.S.-led assault against their stronghold of Fallujah have struck with a series of attacks.
The deadliest attacks Saturday occurred in Samarra where insurgents triggered car bombs and fired mortars at police stations, killing at least 33 people and wounding scores of others.
An internet statement attributed to a militant group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has claimed responsibility for the car bombs.
In Ramadi, at least 16 U.S. Marines were wounded in an attack on their convoy.
The violence followed a night of U.S. air raids in Fallujah, where U.S. and Iraqi forces are awaiting word from interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi for an all-out assault to crush insurgents in the city.