Two U.S. Marines were killed in Iraq
when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, the military
said on Tuesday, pushing the total U.S. military death toll
since the 2003 invasion to 1,999.
A military statement said the Marines died on Friday near
the town of Amariya outside Falluja, a focus of the Sunni Arab
insurgency against the U.S.-backed Baghdad government.
The statement said the deaths were in addition to two other
military personnel, a Marine and a sailor, who were earlier
reported killed in the incident.
U.S. military casualties are now just one short of the
headline-grabbing 2,000 figure -- which is expected to spur
fresh calls for U.S. President George W. Bush to outline an
exit strategy for the conflict in Iraq.
One U.S. soldier, Sergeant Keith Maupin, is listed as
missing following his capture in an attack on a supply convoy
in April last year. He was shown with armed men in video
released by a militant group shortly afterward. His whereabouts
are unknown, but a later insurgent video said he had been
Reliable figures for the number of Iraqis killed since the
March 2003 U.S.-led invasion are not available but
non-governmental organizations estimate at least 25,000 have
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