4 Troops Die as Toll Nears Monthly High

From Associated Press

At least four U.S. troops died in Iraq on Monday, and November’s toll is approaching the highest of any month since the American-led invasion was launched in March 2003.

At least 134 U.S. troops have died in Iraq this month -- only the second time fatalities have topped 100. The deadliest month was April, during which 135 U.S. troops died as the insurgency flared in Sunni Muslim-dominated Fallouja. Dozens of U.S. troops also died there this month.

The Pentagon’s official toll for Iraq since the start of the conflict stood at 1,251 Monday, but that did not include the four latest deaths.

Two soldiers were killed and three were hurt Monday in a roadside bomb blast in northwest Baghdad, the U.S. command said. Another died and two were injured in a vehicle accident 30 miles northwest of Kut in eastern Iraq, the military said. Early today, it announced that another soldier died Monday night of wounds received from a roadside bomb near Alazu.


When the month began, the toll stood at 1,121, the Pentagon said.

Combat injuries also have increased this month because of the fierce fighting in Fallouja. The Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington reported Monday that it had received 32 battle casualties from Iraq over the last two weeks. All the wounded troops had been treated earlier at the Army’s main hospital in Europe, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

The Landstuhl hospital said Monday that about 21,000 U.S. soldiers, most from units sent to Iraq, had been treated there since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.

The hospital did not say how many were combat and how many noncombat injuries. Doctors there had treated 17,878 U.S. troops from Iraq and 3,085 from Afghanistan through Sunday, hospital spokeswoman Marie Shaw said.