The U.S. led coalition in Iraq is confirming that one U.S. soldier was killed and three were injured in a grenade attack Monday in central Baghdad.
Eyewitness say three soldiers were thrown from their canvass-top Humvee when a grenade was tossed down from a bridge. The soldiers from the U.S. army's 1st Armored Division were riding in a convoy along Palestine Street, a major road in central Baghdad, when the device exploded.
The attack took place in broad daylight. The Humvee, with its windshield smashed, was left with two punctured tires sitting in a pool of blood. It was later towed away.
The incident shows how easy it is for guerillas to attack U.S. troops in Baghdad. The grenade was dropped on a heavily armed convoy, and the assailant quickly disappeared into the local area.
Over the past 10 days, U.S. military officials report the largest number of deaths of U.S. soldiers in hostile action since Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was toppled in April.
They say they are intensifying their search for the deposed dictator, especially in his hometown, Tikrit. They argue that Saddam is unable to mount an organized resistance because he is too busy "trying to save his own skin."
American soldiers say they nearly caught Saddam twice in the past week. once in the northern city of Mosul and another time at a farmhouse near Tikrit.
The coalition and other observers say they believe Saddam loyalists and foreign mercenaries are responsible for the upsurge in attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq, particularly since coalition forces killed his two sons in a shootout last week.
Meanwhile, in Tikrit U.S. troops report digging up a freshly buried cache of weapons outside an abandoned building once used by Saddam's Fedayeen milita. They say the munitions were enough to carry out a month of guerilla attacks on coalition forces.
And on Monday in the northern town of Mosul, Iraqi contractors hired by the U.S. army began the demolition of the heavily damaged house where Saddam's sons made their last stand.