More US troops have died in Iraq this year than in any other since the conflict began, the AP reports. The 2007 casualty total stands at 852, with the increase due largely to the surge and new counterinsurgency tactics, which took troops out of fortified bases and into communities. The death toll has fallen recently, however, from 84 in August to 39 in October.
Five more troops were killed yesterday in two separate roadside bombings. “Having more soldiers, and having them out in the communities, certainly contributes to our casualties,” said an army spokesman. About 850 troops died in 2004, but most of those fell during conventional battles, such as the conflicts in Fallujah and Najaf.