Three US Army soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad and a Marine was killed by "enemy action" in Iraq's western Anbar Province on Thursday, the US military said yesterday.
It said the three Army troops in Baghdad died when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the east of the capital. There were no further details about the Marine's death.
The military also announced early yesterday that a soldier had died in a non-combat related incident north of Baghdad.
US forces have been conducting an intensive search in Baghdad for a missing US soldier of Iraqi origin who was kidnapped 10 days ago after going to visit relatives including his Iraqi wife.
Troops have also been conducting more visible patrols in Baghdad in an effort to clamp down on sectarian violence.
Last month was the most deadly month for the US military in Iraq in nearly two years, with at least 105 killed, raising the pressure on US President George W. Bush ahead of midterm elections next week where he could lose control of Congress amid dissatisfaction over his Iraq policies.
Meanwhile, a former US soldier in the Army's 101st Airborne Division was indicted in the rape and death of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the slayings of three of her relatives in March.
Former Army private Steven Green, 21, was charged with murder, aggravated sexual assault and conspiracy, among other offenses, in the federal indictment on Thursday. If he were convicted, Green could face life in prison or the death penalty, a Justice Department statement said.
Patrick Bouldin, Green's defense attorney, said that he had not seen the indictment but that his client intends to plead not guilty and "firmly stands behind that plea."
The incident occurred March 12 in Mahmoudiya, Iraq, a village located about 30km south of Baghdad, where Green was stationed with the division's 502nd Infantry Regiment.
The indictment alleges that Green and others raped the girl and burned her body to conceal their crime. The indictment also alleges that Green and four others stationed at a checkpoint nearby killed her father, mother and six-year-old sister.
Green was discharged from the Army in May this year for a "personality disorder," according to military investigators, and will be tried in US District Court.
Green's lawyer said he is in custody but would not reveal where.
Nine soldiers from the 101st Airborne are accused of wartime atrocities stemming from the division's yearlong deployment, which ended in September.