2007 is deadliest year for US in Iraq

BAGHDAD – The U.S. military on Tuesday announced the deaths of five more soldiers, making 2007 the deadliest year for U.S. troops despite a recent downturn, according to an Associated Press count.

At least 852 American military personnel have died in Iraq so far this year — the highest annual toll since the war began in March 2003, according to AP figures.

The grim milestone passed despite a sharp drop in U.S. and Iraqi deaths here in recent months, after a 30,000-strong U.S. force buildup. There were 39 deaths in October, compared to 65 in September and 84 in August.

Five U.S. soldiers were killed Monday in two separate roadside bomb attacks, said Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, director of the Multi-National Force-Iraq’s communications division.

“We lost five soldiers yesterday in two unfortunate incidents, both involving IEDs,” Smith told reporters in Baghdad’s heavily-guarded Green Zone.

Some 850 troops died in 2004, mostly in larger, more conventional battles like the campaign to cleanse Fallujah of Sunni militants in November, and U.S. clashes with Shiite militiamen in the sect’s holy city of Najaf in August.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071106/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq

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