BAGHDAD — A roadside bomb killed three U.S. soldiers in northern Iraq, the military said Wednesday, in a spike of violence that pushed to at least 10 the number of Americans who have died in Iraq this week.
The latest attack took place about 10:45 p.m. Tuesday in Nineveh province, where al-Qaida in Iraq and other Sunni extremist groups remain active. An Iraqi interpreter also died in the blast, the U.S. statement said without further details.
Also, an American soldier was killed in eastern Baghdad on Wednesday morning by an armor-piercing roadside bomb, the military said.
Those fatalities brought the death toll for U.S. troops in Iraq this month to at least 26 — well below figures of last year but an increase over the 19 who died in May, the lowest monthly tally of the war.
In all, at least 4,109 U.S. military service members have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
Also Wednesday, nine Iraqi civilians were killed in two firefights involving U.S. soldiers, local authorities reported.
The U.S. military said the soldiers were fired upon first in both incidents, which took place outside Tikrit and in Baghdad.
The U.S. military says that violence in Iraq has dropped to its lowest level in more than four years but that attacks are continuing as Sunni and Shiite extremists try to regroup and undermine security gains.
The bombing in Nineveh occurred less than a day after a bombing in a district council office in the Baghdad Shiite district of Sadr City killed four Americans — two soldiers and two government employees.