The missile, however, missed its target, a military spokeswoman said.

US forces have said there is an increase in the “sophistication” of resistance attacks, notably the use of landmines and explosives-rigged booby traps.

Two US soldiers were killed and at least six others wounded on Wednesday in separate attacks.

One soldier was killed and two wounded when a landmine exploded under a US military vehicle along a road leading to Baghdad airport in the Sidiyah district.

It came hours after another US soldier died and at least two others were injured when a bomb exploded as a convoy passed near Abu Gharib prison west of the capital.

US Central Command (Centcom) said the military convoy came under rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack.  

US military officials said two blasts occurred when the second line of the convoy drove by.

Tension

At least 147 US servicemen have
been killed in Iraq since the war

In a separate incident, at least one US soldier and six Iraqis were wounded when assailants threw a grenade at a US armoured vehicle guarding a bank in the Mansur district of the capital.

Our correspondent described the mood in Baghdad as tense.

In Haditha, about 200 km northwest of Baghdad, unknown attackers gunned down the town’s mayor and his son. The attack is being investigated.

Our correspondent said leaflets were distributed to the town’s residents earlier, urging them to cut contacts with occupation forces and stay indoors to avoid being injured in imminent anti-US attacks.

In Baquba, dozens of Iraqis demonstrated to demand the release of a tribal leader detained by occupation forces for allegedly giving refuge to Hussein.

Sheikh Tohame Abd Mahimid al-Obaidi was arrested in a raid by US troops on Monday that left his nephew with gunshot wounds, according to relatives. 

In related developments, US forces have arrested more than 400 people since last weekend in an effort to stamp out resistance attacks.

Centcom said the arrests include 11 people with possible links to al-Qaeda. A separate operation by troops also netted 400 RPGs, which are often used in anti-occupation strikes.