BAGHDAD, May 1 (UPI) -- Two Marines and a sailor were killed in Iraq Thursday, running the U.S Iraqi military death toll to 18, making April the deadliest month of 2009, CNN reported.
Sixteen of those troops died in combat. In March there were nine reported fatalities, the lowest monthly count of the year.
April was also the deadliest month this year for Iraqi civilians. At least 290 Iraqi civilians died that month, compared to 185 in March, an Interior Ministry official said. Nearly 80 Iranian pilgrims were killed in suicide bombings last week.
April saw a rise in attacks, mostly targeting Shiites. Almost 160 died in suicide bombings last week and close to 300 were injured.
Dozens of people were reported killed in six car bombings in Shiite areas of Baghdad in a four-hour span Wednesday.