Tikrit, July 26 (Reuters): In Saddam Hussein’s hometown, US troops braced today for more bloodshed in retaliation for the killing of the former Iraqi leader’s sons even as three soldiers were killed near Baghdad.
An army spokesman said four other soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division were wounded in the grenade attack in Baquba, 50 km north of the capital in the restive “Sunni triangle” where ambushes on US troops have been concentrated.
Finger on the trigger of a .50 calibre machinegun mounted on an armoured personnel carrier in Tikrit, staff sergeant Kenneth Maxwell admitted to nerves as other soldiers checked for weapons in civilian cars passing through his checkpoint.
“Our commanders have put us on a heightened state of alert,” Maxwell, from Hartford, Connecticut, said.
He said guerrillas were now attacking during the day as well as night and Saddam loyalists were using ambulances to transport weapons for operations against the Americans. Tension has risen noticeably since Saddam’s sons were killed on Tuesday.
Washington hopes the killings of Uday and Qusay Hussein in a US raid on their hideout in the northern city of Mosul will sap the resolve of sympathisers.