The overall U.S. death toll in Iraq rose to 4,000 after four soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in Baghdad, a grim milestone that is likely to fuel calls for the withdrawal of American forces as the war enters its sixth year.
The American deaths occurred Sunday, the same day rockets and mortars pounded the U.S.-protected Green Zone in Baghdad and a wave of attacks left at least 61 Iraqis dead nationwide.
An Iraqi military spokesman said Monday that troops had found rocket launching pads in different areas in predominantly Shiite eastern Baghdad that had been used by extremists to fire on the Green Zone, which houses the U.S. Embassy and the Iraqi government headquarters.
The above is from Kim Gamel's "Overall US Death Toll in Iraq Hits 4,000" (AP). We noted the 4,000 mark last night. As did Bloomberg News whose Aaron Sheldrick covers it this morning. Reuters covers it here. Other than the wire services, Alexandra Zavis contributes "U.S. toll in Iraq reaches 4,000" (Los Angeles Times):
Four U.S. soldiers were killed when a bomb hit their vehicle in south Baghdad late Sunday, bringing the number of U.S. service members killed in the Iraq war to 4,000. The grim milestone came at a time when attacks against the U.S. military are ebbing and officials have claimed significant progress against Iraq's deadly insurgency and sectarian violence. It was reached about 10 p.m. on a day when more than 60 Iraqis were killed and dozens injured in attacks in Baghdad and north of the capital.
[. . .]
At least 426 of the Americans killed in the war were from California, more than any other state, and 98 of them were women, according to the independent website icasualties.org. Those figures do not include the soldiers killed Sunday, whose identities were withheld pending notification of relatives.
Among newspapers covering it outside the US, Deborah Haynes for the Times of London offers:
The number of US troops to die in Iraq since the invasion began five years ago hit 4,000 last night after a roadside bomb in Baghdad killed four soldiers.
The morbid milestone will likely strengthen calls for US forces to be withdrawn from the country; a contentious topic in this year's Presidential elections.
A US military spokesman played down the significance of the 4,000th death, which followed a day of bombings and rocket fire across the country that killed at least 60 Iraqis and left many more wounded.
"No casualty is more or less significant than another; each soldier, marine, airman and sailor is equally precious and their loss equally tragic," said Rear Admiral Gregory Smith.
Smith doesn't seem to grasp (or pretends not to) that we're not talking "a" death or even four, we're talking about 4,000.
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