An American helicopter gunship crashed northwest of Baghdad on Monday, killing both members of its crew, the U.S. military said in a statement.
The AH-64 Apache went down at about 11 a.m. northwest the town of Taji, which is about 10 miles northwest of the capital. The military did not say what caused the crash. It said the incident was under investigation.
Since May 1, 2003, 36 U.S. military helicopters have been shot down over Iraq. However, none has been shot down since January.
In Baghdad, meanwhile, a member of a U.S. Army unit assisting Iraqi police with a vehicle fire was shot and fatally wounded Monday morning, the military announced. A brief military statement said the soldier died from wounds sustained during a small-arms attack by "terrorists" in central Baghdad around 10:15 a.m.
No further details about the incident were immediately available.
A separate military statement confirmed Monday that a total of six U.S. service members -- three of them women -- were killed in a June 23 attack in Fallujah. The statement said a Marine and a sailor, both women, were "positively identified" as among those killed in the nighttime attack. They were previously listed as "duty status whereabouts unknown" after their convoy was hit with a powerful suicide car bomb and a small-arms assault as they were leaving Fallujah to return to a camp outside the former insurgent stronghold.
The military initially said two Marines were killed in the attack and four other service members were unaccounted for.
In all, the statement said, five Marines -- two of them women -- and one female sailor were killed in the incident.
In addition, 13 Marines were wounded, 11 of them women. Six of those wounded have since returned to duty, today's statement said. The female service members had been assigned to check Iraqi women passing through entry control checkpoints. Female Marines were assigned this duty "in order to be respectful of Iraqi cultural sensitivities," the military has said.
Earlier Monday, two Iraqis were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol in the Azamiyah neighborhood in northern Baghdad, the Associated Press reported.
The blast followed an apparently coordinated attack by three suicide bombers in the northern city of Mosul Sunday. At least 33 people were reported killed when the bombers struck a police headquarters, an army base and a hospital.
A group affiliated with the al Qaeda terrorist network and headed by Jordanian militant Abu Musab Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the Mosul attacks in an Internet posting. The claim could not immediately be verified.
In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Monday that British, U.S. and Iraqi officials have been engaged in talks with groups in Iraq that support violence to try to bring them into the political process, Reuters news agency reported. Blair spoke a day after U.S. and Iraqi officials said they were talking to tribal leaders, clerics and some groups linked to the Sunni Arab insurgency.
Blair said, however, that there was no contact with extremists such as Zarqawi.
He told a conference that "we have been engaged perfectly properly in trying to pull away some parts of the insurgency and lock them into the political process." He suggested that the interlocutors ranged from people sympathetic to the insurgent violence but not engaged in it to those "who may be involved in parts of the violence or not."
"It's our job politically to pull as many people into the political process, so that is an engagement not just by the Iraqi government, but by the Americans, ourselves, everybody," Blair said, according to Reuter.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld acknowledged Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that U.S. officials have met with insurgents in Iraq. Asked about a British newspaper report that two recent meetings were held at a villa north of Baghdad, Rumsfeld said, "I think there have probably been many more than that." He described the talks as efforts to help the Iraqi government reach out to Sunni Muslim Arabs.
Branigin reported from Washington.