- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 14, 2004

BAGHDAD (AP) — Roadside bombs killed four American soldiers in Baghdad, raising to six the number of U.S. troops who died in Iraqi attacks over the weekend, the coalition said yesterday.

Hundreds of Iraqis, meanwhile, mourned a Shi’ite politician’s relative who died in a bomb blast in his shop Saturday.

A roadside bomb killed three soldiers from the 1st Armored Division and wounded another during a patrol Saturday night in southeastern Baghdad, a spokeswoman for the U.S.-led coalition said.

That followed a similar attack in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, which killed two American soldiers and wounded three others.

U.S. forces responded by making several arrests and dispatching troops into the streets in a show of force Saturday, the same day that the 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, took control of the restive Sunni Triangle town in a troop rotation.

Soldiers who have been on the front line facing the anti-U.S. insurgency — believed to be led by Saddam loyalists and Islamic militants — have been carrying out joint patrols with the newcomers. Saturday was the second day that troops from the Germany-based 18th Regiment patrolled alone.

A sixth soldier died at a combat hospital from injuries suffered in a blast in the Iraqi capital yesterday morning, the spokeswoman said.

“We were woken up this morning by the blast. We saw an American military truck on fire,’ said resident Saad Mohsen. A second explosion set a nearby civilian truck on fire, he said.

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