April 14, 2003 | 1:32 a.m. ET

U.S. Marines backed by AH-1 Cobra gunships and F/A-18 Hornet warplanes pushed by Iraqi defenders and entered Tikrit from the south Sunday, moving to occupy the heart of former president Saddam Hussein's native region that U.S. officials consider the last government stronghold in the country.
Marines Push Into Hussein's Hometown (Post, April 14)

U.S. Marines on Sunday rescued seven American soldiers who were being held prisoner by Iraqi forces north of Baghdad. All were in good condition, though three had suffered wounds.
Marines Rescue 7 U.S. Prisoners (Post, April 14)
Days of Darkness, With Death Outside the Door (Post, April 14)

The clergy of Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority have moved to fill the void left by the ouster of Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party government.
Shiite Clerics Move to Assume Control in Baghdad (Post, April 14)
U.S. troops seek to install an initial force of a few hundred Iraqi police officers to accompany them on anti-looting patrols. But they face a challenge separating the honest from the venal, the law enforcing from the law breaking.
First Push for Order Rises Out of Chaos in Baghdad (Post, April 14)
Young U.S. Marine officers struggle to keep the peace in Baghdad as city's new "mayors."
Marines Get Hands-On Civics Lesson (Post, April 14)

Fulfilling a promise intended to keep Turkey from sending troops into northern Iraq, Kurdish militias Sunday largely completed their withdrawal from this politically sensitive city. But Kurds were still very much present in Kirkuk, some of them apparently trying to retake property from Arabs and others staffing an office to hear Arabs' grievances.
As Most Militias Leave Kirkuk, Kurd-Arab Tensions Rise (Post, April 14)