A U.S. soldier was killed and another wounded Tuesday in an ambush along a dangerous road north of Baghdad in the "Sunni Triangle (search)," the U.S. military reported.
Far to the north, a big gun battle broke out when U.S. soldiers surrounded a house in Mosul (search) belonging to a cousin of Saddam Hussein, according to an Associated Press Television News cameraman at the scene.
The soldier's death brought to 153 the number of U.S. troops killed in action since the March 20 start of war -- six more than during the 1991 Gulf War.
Central Command (search) in Tampa, Fla., said the attackers used rocket-propelled grenades and small arms in the assault staged along the road between Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad, and Ramadi, 60 miles west of the capital.
Both towns lie within the "Sunni Triangle," so named because it is home to much of the remaining support for ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Muslim who used his Baathist Party to oppress the country's Shiite Muslim majority.
The military had no other details on the attack, many of which lately have been staged with remote-controlled roadside explosions.
The APTN cameraman in Mosul, 280 miles north of Baghdad, said residents told him the Americans were at the house looking for Saddam's sons, Udai and Qusai. There was no way to confirm that report. The house belonged to a cousin of Saddam who is a key tribal leader in the region.
The U.S. military said it was checking the report.
The United States has offered a $25 million reward for information leading to Saddam's capture. The reward for his sons, Udai and Qusai, is US $15 million.