Four US soldiers were killed by roadside bombs in Iraq today in the deadliest day for American troops in weeks.
The first bomb struck a patrol in southern Baghdad, killing one soldier. A short time later another targeting a patrol in northern Iraq killed three soldiers.
The US military, which pulled back from populated areas of Iraq before the end of June, has suffered fewer casualties in recent weeks. In August, seven US troops died - the lowest monthly toll since the war began in March 2003.
Today marked the deadliest day for US forces since June 29, when four soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad.
In all, at least 4,343 US service members have died since the war started in March 2003.
The attack on the troops was one of a series of roadside bombings around the country.
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.
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.
Not far from Armili another roadside bomb struck a police patrol near the town of Daqouq killing two policemen.
The violence that continues to plague Iraq's north and the capital has forced the government to acknowledge gaps in security. In particular, the government has been criticised for lapses that allowed a devastating attack last month on the foreign and finance ministries.