BAGHDAD, March 26 (UPI) -- Five U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq in two separate roadside bombings, the military said Monday.
The first blast on Sunday occurred in the province of Diyala, northwest of Baghdad. Four soldiers were killed and two others were injured when their patrol hit the bomb, the U.S. military said.
Later in northwestern Baghdad, a U.S. convoy was hit by a roadside bomb that killed one soldier and injured two others, CNN reported.
The U.S. military has now lost 3,233 soldiers in Iraq, along with seven civilian contractors.
Also Sunday, police and Iraqi soldiers clashed with al-Qaida militants in Ramadi, west of Baghdad. The U.S. military announced Monday it was mounting an offensive in the city to flush out al-Qaida fighters, the BBC said.
Meanwhile, sources in Iraqi Vice President Salam al-Zubaie told CNN Friday's assassination attempt on Zubaie was aided by one of his bodyguards, Wahab al-Dolaimi. The sources said Dolaimi allowed his own car to be rigged with a bomb and driven into the security compound.
The explosion killed nine people and wounded Zubaie. Dolaimi hasn't been seen since, the report said.