SPENCER MICHELS: The near-daily attacks on coalition forces have killed at least 25 U.S. and British troops since May 1, the day President Bush declared major combat over. In the past 24 hours alone, military officials say there were 25 new attacks. The ambushes have often targeted U.S. convoys with machine gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades.
While today's clash against British forces occurred in the southern, Shiite town of Amarah, most attacks have been in Baghdad, as well as the so- called Sunni belt of central and western Iraq, in cities like Ramadi and Fallujah. There, night patrols have been stepped up. Still, both Americans and Iraqis who are cooperating with U.S. officials have come under fire. Recent targets include the local mayor's office, and a Fallujah power plant. Two American guards were injured there.
SU'DAD TAREQ (Translated): The power station came under attack by a group of fighters who were aiming at Americans because the Americans are hated and not welcome here in Fallujah.
SPENCER MICHELS: These men call themselves the Iraqi Fedayeen Front, a previously unknown Iraqi group. They pledged to inflict more casualties on Americans.
SPOKESMAN (Translated): This Fedayeen front had no contacts or links with the previous regime. Therefore, we tell the Americans that if they want the safety of their soldiers, they must leave immediately our pure land. Iraqis have become aware of your big lie-- that is, the liberation of Iraq.
SPENCER MICHELS: Last week, a U.S. commander in central Iraq said the anti-American incidents were not organized. But today at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers said it's "undetermined" whether the attacks are coordinated.
GEN. RICHARD MYERS: We know that there are Ba'ath Party members that don't want this country to go to a democratic form of government that they don't want. They prefer to return to the old ways -- there are other paramilitaries, probably, that have joined them. How organized is yet to be determined, and that's one of the things, of course, we've got intelligence looking at.
REPORTER: We were told last week it was not organized by General Odierno of the fourth infantry division. Now you're saying it's uncertain?
GEN. RICHARD MYERS: I'd say at this point, it's uncertain. That's right. I mean, things... you can expect things to change on the ground over there, and they may be changing. But I can't... it's hard to say one way or the other at this point.
DONALD RUMSFELD: The other reason you may be able to find a seam between what the general said and what Dick Myers said is because he may be referring to a certain area.
REPORTER: The size of West Virginia?
DONALD RUMSFELD: I understand. That does not nay-say what I just said to you. People may... you may see things that appear to be coordinated in a particular area that are not coordinated throughout the entire country.
SPENCER MICHELS: There have also been Iraqi sabotage attacks on oil facilities. On Sunday, explosions rocked this terminal west of Baghdad. U.S. administrator Paul Bremer cited insecurity as a reason to delay plans for Iraqi self-rule.
This week, though, the U.S. occupation force did announce recruitment would begin for a new Iraqi military force that will grow to 12,000 men in a year. It will be responsible for security and for clearing mines. For weeks, former soldiers under Saddam Hussein have demonstrated, saying they haven't been paid since the war ended.