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Roadside Bomb Kills U.S. Soldier

A U.S. Army (search) soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in central Iraq, the military said Tuesday.

The soldier, whose name was not released, was killed Monday when a bomb exploded near his foot patrol in Haswah (search), 31 miles south of Baghdad, the military said. The soldier was the seventh American service member killed Monday in three separate attacks.

All were victims of homemade bombs, which the military refers to as "improvised explosive devices," or IEDs (search).

The U.S. military death toll for October is now at least 93, the highest monthly total since January, when 106 American service members died -- more than 30 of them in a helicopter crash that was ruled an accident.

Only during two other months since the war began has the U.S. military seen a higher toll: in November 2004, when 137 Americans died, and in April 2004, when 135 died.

Four roadside bombs exploded Tuesday -- three in Baghdad (search) and one south of the capital -- killing two Iraqis and wounding four others, and drive-by shootings killed two police officers and an Iraqi physician, officials said.

In Kirkuk (search), 180 miles north of Baghdad, a suicide attacker detonated explosives hidden beneath his clothes while lunging at a police patrol stuck in traffic, wounding the city's police commander and his driver, police said.

Military commanders have warned that Sunni insurgents will step up their attacks before the Dec. 15 election, when Iraqis will choose their first full-term parliament since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.

To guard against such attacks, the military has raised the number of American troops in Iraq to 157,000 -- among the highest levels of the Iraq conflict.

To mark Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that concludes Ramadan (search), 500 detainees were released Tuesday from Abu Ghraib, the notorious U.S.-run prison on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, an Internet message posted Tuesday in the name of Al Qaeda (search) in Iraq said two kidnapped Moroccans were to stand trial in an Islamic court.

On Oct. 25, the group claimed to have abducted the two, identified by the Moroccan government as Abdelkrim el Mouhafidi and Abderrahim Boualam, employees of its Baghdad embassy who were kidnapped while driving back from Jordan.

The authenticity of the statement could not be verified, but it was posted on an Islamic Web site known for publishing the group's material.

Al Qaeda in Iraq has claimed responsibility for executing numerous hostages, including diplomats from Egypt and Algeria.