10 Marines killed in Iraq bombing


(Gold9472: What a waste. Remember, not just 10 Marines were killed, but 10 sets of Marine families have just lost their loved ones. 10 sets of mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters lost their loved one today.)

By Will Dunham
15 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ten U.S. Marines conducting a foot patrol outside Falluja were killed by an insurgent bomb on Thursday in one of the deadliest attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq this year, the U.S. military announced on Friday.

The deaths came as President George W. Bush struggles to boost waning U.S. public support for the war, and as a growing U.S. troop-casualty toll has fueled calls by critics for a timetable to withdraw troops.

In a statement released in Falluja, the military said another 11 Marines were wounded in the blast, which was caused by an "improvised explosive device" fashioned from several large artillery shells. Seven of those wounded have been able to return to duty, the military said.

The attack was one of the worst single incidents to hit U.S. Marines in the war.

In another deadly incident, 14 Marines died on August 3 south of Haditha in western Iraq, when their Amphibious Assault Vehicle was blown up with a roadside bomb made from three land mines.

The military statement said that Marines "continue to conduct counterinsurgency operations throughout Falluja and surrounding areas to provide a secure environment for the national elections, December 15."

Iraqi voters choose a new government in those elections, which the Bush administration hopes will help stabilize the country.

The Pentagon's official tally on Friday of U.S. military deaths in the war was 2,125, with nearly 16,000 more wounded in combat.

The incident near Falluja occurred a day after Bush outlined vision for victory in Iraq , in a speech that acknowledged the U.S. military has sustained "setbacks" in the campaign.

The United States has roughly 160,000 troops in Iraq, having built up the force to help provide extra security for the elections.

In his speech, Bush rejected calls for a timetable on bringing troops home, but said a reduction in troop levels may be possible as Iraqi security forces assume a bigger role.

The Marines who were killed were part of Regimental Combat Team 8 of the 2nd Marine Division, part of the II Marine Expeditionary Force, the military said.