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Sunni insurgents resilient in week 5

BAGHDAD (AP)— Sunni insurgents, resilient despite the five-week security crackdown in the capital, killed at least six more U.S. troops during the weekend.

A Sunni car bomber hit a largely Shiite district in the capital Sunday, killing at least eight people.

The American military said four U.S. soldiers died and one was wounded when the unit was struck by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad.

During the ongoing security sweep in the capital and surrounding regions, the battalion had found eight weapons caches and two roadside bombs and helped rescue a kidnap victim, the military said.

A fifth soldier was killed in an explosion in Diyala, an increasingly volatile province just northeast of the capital.

A Marine died in fighting the same day in Anbar province, the vast, largely desert region that sprawls west of Baghdad to the Saudi Arabian, Jordanian and Syrian borders.

The regions are controlled by the Sunni insurgency.

All of the U.S. victims were killed on Saturday, the military said in a series of statements that also reported that a seventh soldier died from non-combat injuries but gave no other details.

While U.S. and Iraqi troops have flooded the Baghdad streets and a heavily armored American column was sent north to adjacent Diyala province, attacks on American and Iraqi forces have been robust.

Time

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the success of the mission, which was starting well, could not be measured for months and that it was designed to give the Iraqis more time to settle political and sectarian differences.

The issue that were all trying to figure out is how best do you get the Iraqis to reconcile their differences — because after all, this is not going to be solved by the military. It has to involve political reconciliation in Iraq, among Iraqis, Gates said on CBSs Face the Nation.

Were basically buying them time, he said.

The latest deaths raised the American military death toll in Iraq to 3,217 since the war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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