U.S. casualties in Iraq tie monthly record

The U.S. military death toll in Iraq has matched the highest of any month of the war, with at least 135 casualties reported for the month amid new reports of attacks by insurgents.

The 135 casualties is the same number as last April, when the insurgence flared in Fallujah and elsewhere in the so-called Sunni Triangle where U.S. forces and their Iraqi allies lost a large measure of control. Fighting in Fallujah was a key factor in the November deaths as well, following a U.S. offensive to retake the city.

More than 50 U.S. troops have been killed in Fallujah since then, although the Pentagon has not provided a casualty count for Fallujah for more than a week.

Additional U.S. casualties for the month appeared possible. Tuesday, a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives next to a U.S. convoy on Baghdad's dangerous airport road, and several casualties were seen lying next to a damaged vehicle, witnesses and authorities said. In the northern town of Beiji, a car bomb exploded near a U.S. patrol Tuesday, killing four Iraqi civilians and injuring 19 people, two of them American soldiers, the military said. (Related video: Iraq car bombing)

Another soldier from the 1st Infantry Division was wounded when insurgents fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a tank south of Beiji. In addition, a U.S. Army soldier died from injuries suffered after a roadside bomb exploded late Monday next to his patrol north of Baghdad.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, said Monday the U.S. military death toll in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 stands at 1,251. That is up 21 since the Pentagon last reported a total on N ov. 24.

Source: Agencies

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