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The killings of three U.S. soldiers in separate attacks in Baghdad pushed the American death toll for April up to 47, making it the deadliest month since September.
One soldier died when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. The other died of wounds sustained when he was attacked by small-arms fire, the military said Wednesday.
In all, at least 4,059 members of the U.S. military have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
Such street battles — in tight confines and amid frightened civilians — are increasingly becoming a hallmark of the drive into Sadr City and recall the type of head-on clashes last seen in large numbers during last year's U.S. troop buildup in Baghdad and surrounding areas.
The Sadr City violence continued overnight with the destruction of a school in the district. AP Television News footage showed that parts of the two-floor Baghdad Girls' School had pancaked as the result of an explosion. Desks were hanging down from the slanting classrooms where the outer walls were blown out by the blast.
Local officials said the school was the target of an airstrike on Tuesday evening.