North of Baghdad, there were at least three separate attacks on U.S. forces with roadside bombs in less than 1½ hours Wednesday morning. Witnesses reported injured soldiers, but details were unclear. The attacks hit U.S. Humvees about 12 miles north of Baghdad near al-Taji.
Sanchez's remarks came after the friendly fire killing late last week of eight Iraqi policemen by American soldiers near Fallujah, 30 miles west of Baghdad. The military and the U.S. administrator for Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, have apologized.
In other developments:
While U.S. forces increasingly patrol Iraqi hotspots with American-trained local militiamen, citizens voice growing anger with tactics that are seen as heavy-handed and insensitive to Iraqi social and religious customs.
"We have seen that when we have an incident in the conduct of our operations, when we killed an innocent civilian, based on their ethic, their values, their culture, they would seek revenge," Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez was quoted as telling The Times newspaper in London.
Coalition forces were seeking "to ensure that when a mistake has been made and when we have inadvertently wound up killing someone that we go and do the right thing culturally to take care of those families." The Times' report did not elaborate on those steps.
Six people claiming to be Americans and two who say they are British are in U.S. custody on suspicion of involvement in attacks on coalition forces, an American general said Tuesday. They would be the first Westerners reported held in the insurrection against the U.S.-led occupation.
Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who is in charge of coalition detention centers in Iraq, said they were considered security detainees, meaning they were suspected of involvement in guerrilla attacks. She did not identify them but said they were being interrogated by military intelligence in Baghdad.
"We actually do have six who are claiming to be Americans, two who are claiming to be from the U.K. We're continuing the interviewing process. The details become sketchy and their story changes," Karpinski said Tuesday.
If Westerners are actively involved in the resistance, it would deepen confusion about what groups are involved. Initially, the guerrilla fighters were thought to be Saddam loyalists, but in recent weeks U.S. officials have said they are being joined by foreign fighters, possibly al Qaeda members.
The Bush administration's claims of ties between Saddam Hussein's regime and al Qaeda terrorists are being tested in federal court, where the family of the FBI's late counterterrorism chief has sued Iraq over the Sept. 11 hijackings. The suit accuses Iraq of complicity in the attacks by providing support to terrorists.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he has no reason to link Saddam Hussein to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice says one of the reasons President Bush went to war against Saddam was because he posed a threat in "a region from which the Sept. 11 threat emerged," but she told ABC: "We have never claimed that Saddam Hussein had either direction or control of 9-11."
The vice president said Sunday that Iraq was "the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9-11."