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US Military Death Toll in Iraq Passes 1,000

US military deaths in Iraq passed the psychologically important milestone of 1,000 Tuesday after seven US soldiers were killed in scattered clashes with Iraqi insurgents in the Baghdad area, an unofficial tally by the Associated Press showed.

The tally was compiled by the AP based on Pentagon records, news reporting from Iraq, and reports from soldiers' families. The news was also reported by the CNN, which said that the US military death toll in Iraq now stands at 1,002.


The official tally of the US Defense Department showed 990 US soldiers dead since the US-led invasion on March 20, 2003.


At a news conference on Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld played down the importance of the 1,000 mark being passed. He noted that the death toll of victims of terrorism, including the some 3,000 lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has far dwarfed 1,000.


"There are really no free passes in this struggle, this war. There are no free passes for countries. There are really no free passes for individuals," Rumsfeld said, adding that "And for that reason the civilized world has to stay on the offensive."


The milestone, however, might have impact on US voters with the presidential election being less than two months away.


(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2004)

US Troops Suffer Heavy Casualties in Iraq: Report
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