A man driving a taxi detonated a car bomb at a U-S military checkpoint near the Iraqi city of Najaf, south of Baghdad today (Saturday). At a Pentagon briefing, U-S Major General Stanley McChrystal said the coalition is "very concerned" about further suicide attacks. He said Saturday's attack "looks and feels like terrorism," but will not affect military operations.
In Baghdad, Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan identified the suicide bomber as a junior army officer and threatened more suicide attacks. He said Iraq will use any means to kill coalition troops. Mr. Ramadan said thousands of Arab volunteers are arriving in Iraq to help the war effort.
Meanwhile, coalition air-strikes pounded the Iraqi capital throughout the day Saturday and into the night. One strike targeted the Information Ministry.
U-S warplanes and helicopter gunships blasted elite Republican Guard units in central Iraq, destroying tanks and other armored vehicles and killing at least 50 Iraqi soldiers.
In southern Iraq, U-S warplanes bombed a building near Basra where 200 paramilitary fighters were meeting.
Fierce fighting continued around the southern Iraqi city of Nassiriya, where U-S Marines and Iraqi fighters have repeatedly clashed over the past week. U-S forensic teams are investigating graves near the town where the bodies of some U-S soldiers were found.