Two US soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter were killed on 22 December when the vehicle in which they were traveling was caught in a roadside bombing in Baghdad, US officials said. Two other US soldiers were injured in the incident. The latest US deaths bring to 201 the number of US troops killed in Iraq since US President Bush called an end to major combat operations on 1 May.
The US deaths occurred as reports emerged that a pipeline was ablaze between Kirkuk's oilfields and Iraq's Baiji refinery. The blast happened at 1530 local time in Riad, some 45 kilometres west of Kirkuk, said Northern Oil Company spokesman, Hussein Ali Khalaf.