BAGHDAD, Iraq – The U.S. military said 10 American servicemen were killed Wednesday in four separate incidents across Iraq.
A military spokesperson in Baghdad could not provide details on how or where the men were killed, or which branch of the military they were from, but said more information would be provided soon.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to those family members who have lost loved ones today," U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said in a statement.
The deaths were announced as the Iraq Study Group unveiled its report in Washington that called for a change of course in the war-torn country.
The bipartisan commission advised the gradual phasing of the mission of U.S. troops in Iraq from combat to training and supporting Iraqi units, with a goal of pulling back American combat troops by early 2008. It also urged a more energetic effort to involve Iraq's neighbors in ending violence there, including Iran and Syria, which the U.S. considers pariah states.
In other violence Wednesday, at least eight people were killed in a mortar attack on a market in northen Baghdad, and a homicide bomber killed two on a bus in Sadr City.
The market attack occurred at 11:20 a.m. in the Haraj Market in northern Baghdad, said police officers Ali Mutab and Mohammed Khayoun, who provided the casualty totals. In addition to the dead, at least 40 people were injured.
About 25 minutes later, a homicide bomber with explosives hidden beneath his clothing set them off aboard a bus in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, killing two people and wounding 15, police 1st Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said.
It appeared to be the first attack by suspected Sunni Arab insurgents on the large Shiite slum since Nov. 23, when a bombing and mortar attack killed 215 people in Sadr City in the deadliest single attack since the Iraq war started more than three years ago.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki persisted with his efforts to curb the violence, urging university professors and students to ignore "the desperate attempts" of a Sunni Arab insurgent group to keep them from class.
The group had sent e-mails to students and posted signs at schools and mosques saying students should stay away while it cleanses the campuses of Shiite death squads, according to a statement from the prime minister's office late Tuesday.
But attacks by suspected Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias began soon after sunrise.
At 8:30 a.m., Brig. Muhssin Qassim al-Yassiri, head of a security force that guards the Education Ministry, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when gunmen opened fire on his vehicle in west Baghdad, killing his driver, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media.
Five minutes earlier, a roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol in east Baghdad, but caused no casualties, police Capt. Mohammed Abdul-Ghani said.
A bomb also exploded near a shop in Iskandariyah, (30 miles south of Baghdad, killing its owner and wounding four people, said police Capt. Muthana Lkalid.
The U.S. command said also said U.S. ground and air forces also conducted a raid targeting foreign insurgents near the Iranian border, killing a militant who opened fire on an aircraft.
The early morning raid took place near Khanaqin, a remote desert area 87 miles northeast of Baghdad where U.S. forces have helped Iraqi soldiers set up outposts designed to stop foreign insurgents and their weapons supplies from crossing into Iraq.
The coalition aircraft was leaving the raid when it received small arms fire from a vehicle below; it returned fire, destroying vehicle and killing its armed insurgent, the command said. One suspected militant also was detained during the raid, which resulted in no U.S. casualties, the brief statement said.
On Tuesday, al-Maliki reversed course and said his envoys will talk with Iraq's neighbors about the possibility of a regional conference on quelling the violence here, despite opposition to the plan by some key political allies.
Previously, Iraqi leaders have resisted suggestions they include outsiders in efforts to settle their bitter internal divisions.
A new poll by WorldPublicOpinion.org, meanwhile, found that 75 percent of Americans believe that in order to stabilize Iraq the U.S. should enter into talks with Iran and Syria, and nearly 80 percent support an international conference on Iraq. A majority also oppose keeping U.S. forces in Iraq indefinitely and instead support committing to a timetable for their withdrawal within two years or less, the poll found. It was conducted Nov. 21-29, questioned 1,326 Americans nationwide and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percent to 3.9 percent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.