Roadside bombs killed four U.S. soldiers in Iraq on Tuesday, the military said, in the deadliest day for American troops in the country in weeks, as a series of bomb attacks along roads claimed eight Iraqi lives.
The first roadside bomb struck a patrol in southern Baghdad, killing one American soldier, the military said.
A short time later, another bomb targeting a patrol in northern Iraq killed three soldiers, the military said.
The U.S. military, which pulled back from populated areas of Iraq before the end of June, has suffered fewer casualties in recent weeks.
In August, seven U.S. troops died – the lowest monthly toll since the war began in March 2003.
An explosion killed the head of an Iraqi anti-terrorism police unit and four of his bodyguards in a northern town that is home to large Shiite population, said Brig. Sarhat Qader of the police in Kirkuk, a city farther north.
The town, Armili, has about 26,000 residents – most of them Shiites from Iraq’s Turkomen ethnic minority – and has been attacked before.
In 2007, a suicide truck bomber struck a market there, killing more than 100 people.
After Tuesday’s bombing, armed relatives of those killed went looking for the assailants, who they believed had come from a nearby Sunni village, setting off a gun battle. Iraqi army troops intervened and there were no casualties.