U.S. Soldier Killed In Southern Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.S. military says an American soldier has been killed while conducting military operations in southern Iraq.

The military gave no further details in a statement released late Friday, and the name of the dead service member is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The death brings to 4,473 the number of American troops who have died in Iraq since the war started in 2003. That’s according to an Associated Press count.

It is also the fourth U.S. military fatality this month.

Shiite Muslim militias have stepped up attacks on U.S. forces with the approach of the year-end planned withdrawal of all American troops.