US Death Toll in Iraq Nears Two-Year High

The U.S. military in Iraq says five American troops have been killed in western Anbar province, raising the death toll among U.S. forces to 96 this month.

It is the highest monthly toll since January 2005, when 107 American troops were killed.

A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad says the most recent deaths occurred as coalition forces continue an offensive aimed at returning the western Anbar city of Ramadi to Iraqi control.

Spokesman General William Caldwell says that since the end of Ramadan, there has been a slight decrease in overall violence, but it is too early to determine if it is a trend.

Also Thursday, Iraqi police say gunmen in Baquba killed at least five policemen and wounded 10 others.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.