Iraqi guerrillas killed a US soldier in an overnight grenade attack south of Baghdad yesterday as the killing of Saddam Hussein's sons showed no sign of staunching a hot summer of postwar bloodshed in Iraq.
In a reminder that tensions are not restricted to Saddam's Sunni Muslim heartlands north and west of the capital, troops were forced to fire in the air to disperse a stone-throwing crowd in the Shiite holy city of Kerbala to the south yesterday. Locals accused troops of killing a man on Saturday.
Five dead in 24 hours -- 10 since US troops killed Uday and Qusay on Tuesday -- have brought the number of US troops killed by a largely unseen enemy to 49 since May 1, when US President George W. Bush told them major combat was over.
Saddam himself remains on the run with a US$25 million price on his head. US commanders say the net is closing on him as the payment of a US$30 million bounty to the informant who betrayed his sons brings in more tip-offs. Troops have been searching across Iraq, notably around his home town of Tikrit.
"We're still on the offensive here. There's still war going on in Iraq," a US military spokesman said in Baghdad. Troops were suffering about 13 attacks a day across the country, with no obvious change in the attrition rate over the past week.
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