WASHINGTON Ten Marines on foot patrol were killed and 11 wounded by a roadside bomb near Fallujah, Iraq, in one of the deadliest attack on American troops in recent months, the Marine Corps announced today.
A brief statement said the Marines were from Regimental Combat Team 8, of the 2nd Marine Division.
They were hit Thursday by a roadside bomb, which the military calls an improvised explosive device, or IED, made from several large artillery shells, the Marines said. IEDs are the most common cause of U.S. casualties in Iraq.
The Marines were attacked outside of Fallujah, about 30 miles west of Baghdad. Of the 11 who were wounded, seven have returned to duty, the Marine Corps statement said. It added that Marines from the same unit continue to conduct counterinsurgency operations throughout Fallujah and surrounding areas.
The names of those killed were withheld pending notification of their relatives, in line with usual military practice.
Pentagon officials said they did not immediately have any information beyond was what contained in the Marine Corps statement.
Fallujah had been a stronghold of the insurgents until U.S. forces, led by Marines, assaulted the city in November 2004. Since then the U.S. military and the Iraqi government have been working to rebuild the city and limit the return of insurgents.
The 10 deaths on Thursday marked the deadliest incident for Marines in Iraq since 14 were killed by a roadside bomb on Aug. 3 near Haditha, about 140 miles northwest of Baghdad. Those Marines were traveling in a lightly armored amphibious assault vehicle when it hit the bomb, flipped into the air and exploded in a fireball.
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