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Bloodied U.S. battle fatigues discovered

2 Marines killed in separate incidents in Iraq

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U.S. troops found boxes with Iraqi gas masks and chemical protective suits stored inside a hospital in Nasiriya, Iraq.

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U.S. MILITARY BRIEFING SATURDAY
U.S. Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, Maj. Gen. Victor Renuart

• Some stray U.S. missiles have been reported landing in Saudi Arabia.  The U.S. is restricting launches of Tomahawk cruise missiles over Saudi and Turkish territory.

• Coalition forces targeted nine Baath party headquarters facilities overnight.

• There will be no pause on the battlefield in Iraq.
IRAQI INFO MINISTRY BRIEFING SATURDAY
Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf

• Accusations that Iraqi soldiers are disguising themselves in civilian clothing are "cheap propaganda."

• Coalition strikes caused 68 Iraqi deaths and 107 injuries on Friday.

• The coalition "thought that by bombarding the Ministry of Information they can do something in order to prevent showing the world the facts" of the war.
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•  Commanders: U.S. | Iraq
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Bloodied U.S. battle fatigues believed to be those of some of an ambushed Army maintenance unit were found in a hospital in Nasiriya, Iraq, according to a Pentagon official.

The uniforms, found by U.S. troops who took over the hospital, appeared to have had their name tags and flag patches ripped off, perhaps to hide the identity of their owners, the official said.

The troops also discovered what appeared to be a torture device made of a metal cot and a car battery.

The uniforms appear to belong to some of the members of the Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, who were ambushed March 23 in Nasiriya. Two soldiers were known to have been killed. Eight others are missing, and five were taken as prisoners of war. (Full story)

Meanwhile, U.S. Central Command announced Saturday that two Marines have been killed in separate incidents in Iraq.

Central Command said one Marine from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force was killed late Friday night when he was hit by a Humvee during a firefight with Iraqi soldiers in south-central Iraq.

The other Marine, also from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, drowned early Friday when the Humvee in which he was riding rolled over into a canal in south-central Iraq.

Marines at the scene tried for 30 minutes to revive him, Central Command's statement said.

Overnight and into early Sunday, U.S.-led coalition airstrikes continued across Iraq, with force commanders stressing they were emphasizing precision strikes on Iraqi regime, military and "irregular" targets.

Flashes lit up the night sky above Baghdad, and Mosul and Balak in northern Iraq, as explosions were heard in all three cities.

The bombing of the northern cities in the last 24 hours is the most intense in the area since the war started.

In Baghdad, coalition forces dropped satellite-guided munitions on two surface-to-air missile complexes. The U.S. military said it also targeted command-and-control facilities at the Abu Garayb Presidential Palace and two facilities at the Karada Intelligence Complex.

The Karada complex is on the banks of the Tigris River in southern Baghdad.

A few hours later, at least four large explosions rocked a residential compound northwest of the Information Ministry, where many government officials live.

The threat from Iraqi "irregulars" was emphasized earlier Saturday when a suicide bomber blew up his car at a military checkpoint in the central Iraqi town of Najaf, killing four U.S. soldiers with the 3rd Infantry Division, military officials said. (Full story).

Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan said at a news conference Saturday that coalition forces could expect more suicide bombings and praised "every martyr that aims to protect their land."

But U.S. military officials said they were experiencing fewer attacks on supply lines as they took measures to strike at "irregular" Iraqi units such as the Fedayeen Saddam and ruling Baath party loyalists, who have started using what military officials labeled "terror tactics."

U.S. Central Command Director of Operations Maj. Gen. Victor Renuart said the suicide attack would not change the coalition's operational strategy but added that it was still under review.

"That kind of activity I think is something of a symbol of an organization that is getting a bit desperate," Renuart said. "Having said that, our troops do in fact train to those kinds of events."

Ramadan identified the bomber as an Iraqi military officer and said suicide bombings would become "routine military policy."

Other developments

• The area surrounding Najaf, on the Euphrates River, has been the scene of intense fighting between forward elements of the 3rd Infantry Division and Iraq fighters, including a battle for a river bridge that left 300 Iraqi soldiers dead and coalition forces in control of the crossing.

• Elements of the 82nd Airborne Division have been moved into the area around the southern city of Nasiriya to help protect supply lines and forces moving up and down southern Iraq. Nasiriya has been the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

• U.S. Marines launched a daybreak attack Saturday, using Cobra helicopter gunships, tanks, armored vehicles, mortars and artillery against Iraqi forces. (Full story)

• Marines recovered remains Saturday from two graves believed to be of two Marines missing since last week's ambush by Iraqi forces on an armored vehicle convoy, military officials told CNN. A day earlier, search teams found the bodies of seven Marines.

• Twenty-six U.S. service members are unaccounted for in Iraq. (Full story) Another 57 U.S. and British service members have been confirmed killed since the fighting began. (Coalition casualties)

• Soldiers from the U.S. 101st Airborne Division made their first attack deep inside Iraq, using dozens of helicopters to hit an Iraqi armored brigade about 100 miles southwest of Baghdad. Coalition planes also were involved in the attack. (Full story)

A coffin draped in the British flag is carried from a military cargo plane at Brize Norton Royal Air Force Base in England on Saturday.
A coffin draped in the British flag is carried from a military cargo plane at Brize Norton Royal Air Force Base in England on Saturday.

• U.S. Navy ships in the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea have stopped firing their cruise missiles at Iraq after complaints by Turkey and Saudi Arabia that some of the missiles have fallen on their countries, a Pentagon official said. There has been no reported damage or casualties from any of the stray missiles.

• Kuwaiti military officials said a coalition Patriot missile battery destroyed an incoming missile Saturday afternoon aimed at Kuwait. Earlier, a missile struck a closed shopping mall in Kuwait City, the first time the capital has been hit since the war began, Kuwaiti authorities said. A mall worker suffered minor injuries and was treated at a hospital, authorities said. (Full story)

• Iraq's state-run television reported Saturday that 357 Iraqi citizens have been killed and 3,650 injured after 10 days of war. Included in that figure are at least 50 civilian deaths and 49 injuries from Friday's market bombing in the Iraqi capital, according to Iraqi TV.

-- CNN correspondents Lisa Rose Weaver, Diana Muriel, Christiane Amanpour, Tom Mintier, Nic Robertson, Kathleen Koch, Martin Savidge, Barbara Starr, Jill Dougherty and Alessio Vinci, and producer Mike Mount, contributed to this report.

EDITOR'S NOTE: CNN's policy is to not report information that puts operational security at risk.


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