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5 U.S. TROOPS DIE IN TWO ROADSIDE BOMBINGS IN IRAQ

Five American soldiers were killed Friday in two roadside bombings, the U.S. military said today.

Four soldiers died when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device while the troops were on a combat patrol northwest of Baghdad, the military said.

In violence near Tikrit, the hometown of former President Saddam Hussein, another soldier was killed and three were wounded in an explosion near their vehicle as they carried out operations, the military said in a statement.

The wounded soldiers were transported to a coalition medical facility for treatment.

No other information on the attacks was immediately released.

In recent weeks, the number of U.S. troop deaths has been on the rise. At least 39 American service members were killed in January, ending a four-month drop in casualties. There were 23 troop deaths in December.

As of Friday, at least 3,958 members of the U.S. military have died in since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003.

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