Friday, May 1, 2009

OIF Update, May 1, 2009: Violence Up in Iraq, 3 US Servicemembers Killed in Anbar

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2009 -- Two Marines and one sailor were killed while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Ambar province April 30.

Anbar is a former insurgent stronghold that has been relatively calm since Sunni tribal leaders turned against al-Qaida in Iraq.

The names of the service members are being withheld pending next-of-kin notification and release by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Newswire sources report that at least 18 U.S. soldiers died in April, a sharp increase from March's total of nine -- the lowest since the war began in March 2003.

The deaths come as a series of deadly bombings in recent weeks has raised concerns that insurgents are stepping up their efforts to re-ignite sectarian bloodshed and derail security gains that have brought overall violence to its lowest levels in recent years, the Associated Press noted.

In all, at least 4,281 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

(Report from a Multinational Corps Iraq news release and newswire sources.)

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