BAGHDAD,(Reuters) – The U.S. military announced on Wednesday the deaths of nine U.S. troops in incidents in Iraq on Tuesday, including four soldiers killed when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb west of Baghdad.
More than 60 U.S. soldiers have been killed in October. More than 2,775 have died since the U.S. invasion in 2003.
Three soldiers were killed and one wounded while conducting operations in Diyala province, north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement without providing details.
In northern Baghdad, a U.S. soldier died after his patrol was attacked with small-arms fire.
In western Anbar province, a Sunni insurgent stronghold, a U.S. Marine died from his wounds after coming under fire.
U.S. commanders have attributed the rise to more aggressive patrolling by U.S. forces in Baghdad as part of a security sweep aimed at stamping out sectarian violence in the capital. They had also warned of more insurgent violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The rise in U.S. deaths in Iraq coincides with the run-up to U.S. congressional elections next month, in which the Iraq war has become a major issue. President George W. Bush’s popularity has been hurt by growing discontent over the war.
Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, who co-chairs a bipartisan group appointed by the U.S. Congress to look at alternatives to policy in Iraq, warned on Tuesday not to expect a “magic bullet” to solve deepening problems in Iraq.
“I will say one other thing — there’s no magic bullet for the situation in Iraq. It is very, very difficult,” Baker said in a speech to the World Affairs Council of Houston.