Roadside bomb in Iraq kills 3 Americans

/ Source: The Associated Press

Three Americans, including a State Department employee, were killed by a roadside bomb that struck a convoy in Iraq's western Anbar province, the U.S. military said Tuesday.

The blast killed a U.S. soldier, a State Department official and a civilian contractor working for the Defense Department as their convoy headed through Fallujah to a nearby construction site on Monday, the military said. Two others were wounded.

Like many cities in Iraq, Fallujah hosts a provisional reconstruction team, a joint U.S. civil-military office that carries out reconstruction projects throughout the city to improve people's daily lives.

Insurgents once held sway over Anbar, which was the scene of some of the deadliest fighting of the war. But violence fell off dramatically after Sunni fighters turned on al-Qaida in Iraq and joined U.S. forces in what has become known in Iraq as "the Awakening."

Insurgents, though, have continued to sporadically target American and Iraqi security forces in Fallujah, where four Blackwater employees were ambushed in 2004 by insurgents and their remains strung from a bridge.

The U.S. military has withdrawn from most of the cities in the vast Anbar province, including Fallujah.

The military said the identities were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

As of Monday, May 25, 2009, at least 4,301 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

The figure includes eight military civilians killed in action. At least 3,443 military personnel died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

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