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Iraqi Soldiers Clash With Militants North of Baghdad 

The Iraqi military says its soldiers killed at least two militants and detained six others in fighting north of Baghdad.

Iraqi officials say three soldiers also were wounded Friday during the raids in the town of Duluiyah.

Meanwhile, a roadside bomb killed two Iraqi soldiers and wounded two others outside the northern city of Kirkuk.

Iraqi officials say the soldiers were part of a patrol in a nearby village today when the bomb detonated.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military announced it captured nearly 20 suspected insurgents from across Iraq during operations on Wednesday and Thursday.

U.S. President George Bush said Thursday that Iraq's security situation has been improving and appears to have what he called a "degree of durability."

He said he expects U.S. commanders to recommend further withdrawals of combat forces from Iraq this year "as conditions permit."

The monthly death toll of U.S. troops in Iraq fell in July to its lowest level since the 2003 invasion, with 11 American fatalities.

The number of Iraqi civilians killed by violence also dropped in July to the lowest monthly figure since 2005. Estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths in July range from 300 to 400. About 100 Iraqi security personnel also were killed in July.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.