Eight US soldiers killed near Baghdad

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The Independent Online

Eight US soldiers were killed today in the Baghdad area, a US military spokesman said. Media reports said the troops were killed in a car bomb attack, but the spokesman had no details.

Eight US soldiers were killed today in the Baghdad area, a US military spokesman said. Media reports said the troops were killed in a car bomb attack, but the spokesman had no details.

The Arab television network Al-Arabiya reported that the troops were killed in a car bomb explosion in the town of Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad.

The deaths came after another US soldier was killed today by a rocket-propelled grenade attack on his patrol in eastern Baghdad, the military said. Another soldier was killed and another wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their convoy outside the city of Baqouba, 24 miles north of the capital.

The deaths raises to 126 the number of US service members killed in combat in April, the bloodiest month for US forces in Iraq.

The military announced that another soldier died in a vehicle accident in western Baghdad. At least 736 US troops have died in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. Up to 1,200 Iraqis also have been killed this month.

Meanwhile, US forces announced that all Marine forces will end the siege of Fallujah, pulling back to allow a newly created, all-Iraqi security force to move into the city starting tomorrow under a new agreement.

The new force, known as the Fallujah Protective Army, will be made up of up to 1,100 Iraqi soldiers led by a former general from the military of Saddam Hussein, Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne said.

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