Insurgents attack U.S. convoys in northern Iraq, killing 1

BAGHDAD (BNO NEWS) -- Insurgents attacked two U.S. convoys in northern Iraq on Thursday and Friday, officials said, killing one U.S. service member. Few details about the incidents were released.

The U.S. military in Iraq said one U.S. service member was killed while conducting operations in the country's north, but gave no other details. "The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense," a brief statement said.

On Friday morning, insurgents attacked a U.S. convoy near Kirkuk, the capital of the province which carries the same name. "There was an attack on a U.S. convoy in Kirkuk this morning," said Bart Bauer, a spokesperson for the U.S. military. "There were no injuries and no damage to the vehicles."

The fatality on Thursday raises the total number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq so far this year to 53, according to the U.S. military. A total of 60 U.S. service members were killed in Iraq last year, most of whom died as the result of non-hostile incidents.

Less than 35,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, nearly nine years since the U.S.-led war began on March 20, 2003. The country has witnessed a resurgence in militant attacks in recent months, but violence has dropped significant since its peak in 2006 and 2007.

According to a security agreement between Baghdad and Washington, all U.S. forces will be withdrawn by the end of 2011.

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