BAGHDAD, Iraq – U.S. troops fought insurgents for a fourth straight day Saturday in a Sunni Muslim (search) area north of Baghdad. At least six Iraqis and one U.S. soldier have been killed in the clashes, military officials and witnesses said.
One American soldier died of wounds suffered Friday in Buhriz, just south of Baqouba (search), 1st Infantry Division spokesman Maj. Neal O'Brien said. The fighting broke out Wednesday when insurgents attacked the mayor's office in Buhriz as it was wrapping up a meeting with U.S. officers, O'Brien said.
The clashes spread Saturday to Tahrir, also near Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. Insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades at a U.S. patrol, wounding two U.S. soldiers, O'Brien said.
At least six Iraqis were killed and 54 were wounded in the Buhriz fighting, according to Dr. Nassir Jawad of the Baqouba General Hospital. Municipal officials had said 13 Iraqis were killed. U.S. officials put the Iraqi death toll at 10 in the Thursday fighting and five on Friday.
After Wednesday's attack on Buhriz, American soldiers returned before dawn the following day to raid the home of a suspected insurgent leader but came under attack with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire.
The insurgent leader was wounded and was detained by coalition forces, O'Brien said.
In southern Iraq, a roadside bomb killed a Portuguese security officer for the state-run Oil Products Co. and his Iraqi guard, police Capt. Diaa Hussein said. The bomb exploded as the two were driving on a road from the southern city of Basra to nearby Zubayr, farther to the south.
Also Friday, insurgents launched two deadly attacks in Baghdad, killing an American soldier and wounding a civilian contractor in a mortar barrage on a U.S. base, and injuring three U.S. troops in a coordinated ambush in another part of the capital.
The attacks follow a series of deadly car bombings this week that have unnerved an Iraqi public before the transfer of sovereignty at the end of this month.
Three Iraqi civilians died in the Baghdad ambush, which began when a roadside bomb exploded in the Kamalaya district in the east of the city, the U.S. command said. Insurgents opened fire from the rooftops. U.S. troops returned fire and the insurgents "sustained moderate casualties," the statement said.
Several hours later, six mortar shells exploded at a 1st Cavalry Division camp in southern Baghdad, killing an American soldier and slightly injuring a contractor working for Kellogg Brown and Root, the military said.