A wild firefight outside a Baghdad hotel and the threat of suicide bombings kept American soldiers wrapped in the urgent business of putting down armed resistance in the capital even as looting spread.
Heavy machine gun fire and explosions could be heard along the river from the Palestine Hotel, where many foreign journalists were staying. U.S. military officials say fifteen to twenty Iraqis died in the fighting, but no U.S. troops were hurt.
U.S. troops and Iraqi police are setting up patrols to rein in waves of thievery in the capital city, and American officials were dispatching the first contingent of 1,200 American police and judicial officers to help troops put a lid on the lawlessness.
Meanwhile, Marines rolled north to confront what could be Saddam Hussein's last holdouts.
The U.S.-led coalition is expected to focus next on Saddam's hometown, Tikrit, where some Iraqi forces are believed to be regrouping. A contingent of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, described only as significant in size, headed toward that city to challenge whatever it found.
In other developments:
Iraqis expressed increasing frustration over the lawlessness that has gripped the capital since the arrival of U.S. troops and the fall of Saddam, and many angrily blamed the U.S.
The looting of the Baghdad bureaucracy raised concerns that any documents tied to Iraqi chemical, biological or nuclear weapons programs might disappear along with all the treasures.
The looting was also doing damage to history. Iraq's national museum lost some of the nation's most valuable treasures — priceless artifacts dating from the Assyrian, Greek and Roman empires, reports CBS News Correspondent Randall Pinkston.
Some residents were taking matters into their own hands, beating up looters and blockading streets in an attempt to quell the looting.
Iraqi police, quickly adapting to the new power order, worked with U.S. Marines to set up joint patrols that would start work in a day or two.
In the southern city of Basra, which has also seen extensive looting, armored British troops were expected to join local, unarmed Iraqi police patrols in the next two days, a British spokesman said at U.S. Central Command.
In Northern Iraq, the 173rd Airborne set up a checkpoint in Kirkuk to keep weapons out of town, a difficult task since most townspeople are armed.
Kurds, Arabs and ethnic Turks began working on a cooperative arrangement to govern the city without the ethnic strife threatening to flare in the post-Saddam era. Kurdish fighters who took over the city said they would yield to the Americans once enough of them arrived to secure law and order.
Looting diminished Saturday in the northern city of Mosul, a day after pro-Saddam defense forces dissolved and U.S. soldiers moved in.
In Western Iraq, U.S. officials said, coalition forces found a phosphate plant where they discovered two drone aircraft - the type that could be used to spread chemical or biological agents.
Also in western Iraq, U.S. forces intercepted a busload of 59 men driving toward the Syrian border. CENTCOMM says they had $630,000 in cash and a letter offering rewards for killing American soldiers.