Accessibility links

Grenade Attack Kills 4 US Soldiers Near Baghdad - 2003-07-26

Four U.S. soldiers were killed and six wounded in two separate attacks in Iraq Saturday. The attacks overshadow the capture of several men believed to be deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's bodyguards.

The U.S. Central Command has confirmed the first attacks on soldiers from the Fourth Infantry Division, who were guarding a children's hospital in Baqouba, northeast of Baghdad.

Baqouba has been the site of other attacks on American forces. It is found in the Sunni Muslim heartlands, where Saddam Hussein derived much of his support.

The attack brings to 49 the number of troops killed by hostile fire since Washington declared an end to major combat in Iraq on May 1.

The Coalition Provisional Authority had warned that attacks might increase, after U.S. troops killed Saddam Hussein's two sons, Uday and Qusay, in a fierce firefight Tuesday in the northern city of Mosul. A group calling itself the Saddam Fedayeen has vowed to avenge the deaths.

But U.S. officials say they hope that eliminating Saddam's dynasty will, in the longer term, undermine the guerilla campaign against the coalition.

The coalition also announced Saturday that U.S. forces, acting on a tip-off, had captured 13 men outside of Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit. Officials say they believe a number of those detained are Saddam's bodyguards.

The officials also say that more Iraqis are coming forward offering information on the possible whereabouts of Iraq's fugitive former leader.