Three American soldiers and two Marines were killed in Iraq on Thursday, the U.S. military reported on Friday. Three of the fatalities were caused by roadside bombs, now the leading killer of U.S. troops in Iraq.
In one of the incidents, a soldier assigned to Task Force Baghdad was fatally wounded when his patrol was hit by a roadside bomb in the southern part of the capital, the military said in a statement. A short time later, a second soldier was killed by another such bomb in the same area, a military spokesman said.
According to the Associated Press, the second bomb exploded amid a group of soldiers attempting to rescue the soldier who had been wounded in the first explosion.
In Saqlawiyah, just northwest of Fallujah, two Marines were killed in what a military statement called "an indirect fire attack." A spokesman said the term referred to "indiscriminate fire" when troops "were not necessarily engaged."
"We don't know if it was small-arms fire or rocket fire or what," he said.
The fifth fatality was a soldier assigned to a Marine unit who was killed Thursday when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Ramadi, an insurgent stronghold 60 miles west of Baghdad, the military said.
The names of all of the dead were withheld until their families could be notified.
News of the deaths came three days after the unofficial combat death toll for U.S. forces in Iraq topped 2,000. Eight U.S. soldiers have died since the milestone was passed.
In other news, police reported that 10 members of one family were killed earlier in the week in Qameshly, a small town in Babil province south of Baghdad. The family belonged to Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority.
Capt. Muthanna Ahmed, a spokesman for the Babil provincial police, said the victims, including women and children, were taken hostage in their home about two days before by four armed men. He said that neighbors tipped off police and that the Interior Ministry's Scorpion commando unit, a rapid-response force, stormed the house Friday morning and discovered that the family had been killed.
Security forces killed one of the gunmen and arrested the three others, he said.
Special correspondent Saad Sarhan in Najaf contributed to this report.