U.S. Troop Deaths in Iraq Down in October

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The monthly toll of U.S. service members who have died in Iraq is on track to be the lowest in almost two years.

At least 34 troops have died so far this month. Nearly a third of the deaths were from non-combat causes.

It's the lowest number since 32 service members died in March 2006. The lowest monthly toll was recorded in February 2004, when 20 troops died.

This month's number would also be the second consecutive drop in monthly figures. Sixty-five Americans died last month, down from 84 the month before.

Still, the military warns that it's too early to declare a long-term trend.

Meanwhile, Iraqi civilians continue to be targets of attacks.

At least one person is dead after gunmen tossed a hand grenade into a crowd of shoppers in eastern Baghdad. And a woman was killed when mortar rounds slammed into a village near Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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