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U.S. Military Has First Fatality-Free Month In Iraq


U.S. Army soldiers spread out during an operation to disrupt weapons smuggling north of Baghdad on August 8.

U.S. Army soldiers spread out during an operation to disrupt weapons smuggling north of Baghdad on August 8.

For the first time since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, a month passed without a single U.S. military fatality in the country.

U.S. military spokeswoman Major Angela Funaro said that "August was the first month with no hostile deaths and no noncombat deaths, which includes accidents or illness."

While no U.S. soldiers died in Iraq in August, figures compiled by Iraq's ministries of Health, Interior, and Defense show that a total of 239 people -- 155 civilians, 45 police, and 39 soldiers -- were killed as a result of attacks last month.

The record low death toll for August comes ahead of the year-end deadline for all U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq -- unless Baghdad and Washington reach an accord on a post-2011 military training mission there.

Meanwhile, Iraqi officials say 14 prisoners charged with "terrorism" have escaped from a prison in the city of Mosul, in northern Iraq.

Police and local officials said 35 prisoners tried to escape from the prison, but 21 were recaptured soon after the jailbreak, leaving 14 at large.

All 35 had been held at an Interior Ministry detention facility on terrorism-related charges. No clashes took place during the escape.

A security official said the prisoners escaped through a 50-meter-long tunnel.

compiled from agency reports
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