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Two killed as U.S. forces clash with Saddam supporters

Iraqis chant pro-Saddam slogans at a rally Monday in Ramadi.
Iraqis chant pro-Saddam slogans at a rally Monday in Ramadi.

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(CNN) -- An American soldier was wounded and two Iraqis were killed Monday as pro-Saddam Hussein supporters clashed with U.S. troops and Iraqi police in Ramadi, a U.S. military spokesman said.

The violence occurred as police and coalition forces responded to a pro-Saddam rally at the Governance Center in Ramadi, about 75 miles west of Baghdad.

Pro-Saddam rallies were also held Monday in Tikrit, Baghdad and Fallujah.

Celebratory events continued in on Baghdad streets, most notably from the Iraq Communist Party, long banned by the Baath Party regime of Saddam.

In north Baghdad, some shops were forced to close after about 300 heavily armed Saddam loyalists staged their show of support. They were dressed in black, resembling the Fedayeen uniforms worn by Saddam's paramilitary forces, witnesses told CNN. They fired volleys of gunfire after it was rumored that Saddam had not really been captured.

Late Monday evening, eyewitnesses told CNN, the main mosque in northwest Baghdad was cordoned off by U.S. forces and Iraqi police as a precaution, as they patrolled the area.

In Saddam's ancestral home town, Tikrit -- nine miles north of the hideout where U.S. soldiers found him in a Saturday night search -- hundreds of demonstrators flooded the streets, chanting, singing and weeping for Saddam, and at times clashing with U.S. troops and Iraqi police officers.

Protesters chanted "God is greatest" and "America is the enemy of all peoples." Some residents kissed former Iraqi currency bearing the image of Saddam, chanting, "We sacrifice our souls and blood for you, Saddam."

Tikrit resident Basher al-Naser said he was sad about the capture "because all of us love Saddam Hussein."

Nasrat Omar, another demonstrator, called Saddam a "brave man" and "the knight of the Arab nation." He said it was "regrettable" that Iraqis provided the intelligence that led to Saddam's capture by the Americans.

"If he had to be handed over, he should be handed over to the Governing Council and not to the Americans," Omar said. "Saddam was captured by treason."

-- CNN's Satinder Bindra contributed to this report.

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