A suicide bomber detonated a truck packed with explosives outside an Iraqi base in the northern city of Mosul today, killing five U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi policemen, the U.S. military said.
The attack was the deadliest for U.S. soldiers in Iraq for months. An insurgency led by al Qaeda and other militants has proven stubborn in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, even as the violence set off by the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 has waned elsewhere in Iraq.
Two U.S. soldiers and 20 members of the Iraqi security forces were wounded in the blast, the U.S. military said. Iraqi police said the blast wounded 70 people and destroyed five Iraqi and two U.S. armoured vehicles.
The number of U.S. soldiers killed in action in March was the lowest since the invasion. But in February four U.S. soldiers were killed in a single attack.
At least 4,200 U.S. troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed since the invasion.
Insurgent groups have exploited the divisions among Mosul's patchwork of Kurds, Sunni Arabs, Christians and other groups to remain effective, and are also known to retreat to hideouts in the remote and mountainous region surrounding the city.