Baghdad, April 6 (Reuters): Iraqis chanting “Long live Saddam Hussein” crowded around a destroyed US tank today on a highway leading south out of Baghdad where the army said four US soldiers were killed.
Journalists were taken by Iraqi officials to the site of what they said was a battle yesterday about 25 km from the city centre, on the highway to Mahmoudiya south of Baghdad. “Yesterday morning, eight US tanks tried to enter Baghdad from the direction of Mahmoudiya and we confronted and destroyed all of them, killing four US soldiers,” Iraqi Brigadier Mohammed Jasim told journalists at the site.
An Iraqi girl approached the tank with a loaded gun, (AFP picture on the left) which was gutted by fire, with ammunition belts scattered on the ground. Iraqi officers said the other seven US tanks had been destroyed and removed from the battlefield. This correspondent saw six or seven burnt Iraqi vehicles at the site. Some men also flashed victory signs atop anti-aircraft guns yesterday (Reuters picture on the left) on the southern outskirts of Baghdad.