U.S. military officials say American soldiers Wednesday shot and killed an Iraqi man who was apparently preparing to fire a rocket-propelled grenade at U.S. troops in Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit. They also report arresting 18 supporters of the deposed dictator there.

U.S. military officials in Tikrit say their troops gunned down a man as he appeared to be getting ready to fire at American troops, and arrested another suspect from a ring that may be helping to protect fugitives from Saddam Hussein's inner circle.

Lt. Col. Steve Russell, of the 4th Infantry Division says his forces were continuing to round up senior organizers of guerilla attacks who may also be involved in shielding high-level members of the old regime.

He said that Iraqi police on Tuesday carried out a raid and seized the brother of a close personal bodyguard of Saddam Hussein's family. The man was turned over to U.S. forces for allegedly organizing attacks against American soldiers. The bodyguard, Adnan Abdullah Abid al-Musslit, himself was arrested last week.