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Death Toll Down for US Troops in Iraq


A count of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq shows the month of October tied for the fewest fatalities since the war began.

A website that compiles casualty figures released by military authorities (icasualties.org) says 13 Americans were killed in October. The site says there were also 13 U.S. fatalities in July.

U.S. officials said the reductions in casualties reflect improved security in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Friday he will share the details of a proposed U.S.-Iraq security pact with Iraq's neighbors.

The prime minister says Iraqi officials will brief neighboring countries, after the United States responds to Iraq's request for changes to the draft.

As currently proposed, U.S. troops could remain in Iraq for three years after their U.N. mandate expires at the end of this year. U.S. officials say without the agreement, all U.S. military operations in Iraq will stop.

U.S. State Department and defense officials have warned time is running out for talks on the deal. But U.S. President Bush has expressed confidence that the accord will pass before the U.N. mandate expires.

In other news, the U.S. military says hundreds of thousands of people in Baghdad are without drinking water Friday after militants blew up a main water pipeline to the Adhamiyah, Rusafa and Karrada districts of the capital.

Insurgents often target infrastructure such as water pipes and power lines, though attacks have recently declined.

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

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