Seven soldiers, one Marine killed in Iraq

Eight American troops, seven soldiers and a Marine, were killed in bombings, an ambush and shootings, the US military reported on Saturday. Three of the soldiers were killed when an explosion hit their patrol in Salahuddin Province, north of Baghdad; one died in a roadside bombing in south Baghdad and the Marine was killed during combat operations in Anbar province, west of the capital, the military said. All of them were killed on Saturday. One soldier was killed in an ambush late Friday near Taji, north of the capital, and two other soldiers were hit by a roadside bomb on Wednesday in eastern Baghdad, the military said. The victims' names were withheld until family could be notified. The deaths raised to 100 the number of US forces killed in May, putting it on course to be one of the deadliest months for American troops in years. Last month, 104 American service members died in Iraq. By the end of Saturday, at least 3,451 members of the US military had died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,817 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military.