Four US soldiers killed in Samarra yesterday brought to 31 the number of American lives taken by IEDs in August alone.
It's been one of the deadliest months for roadside bombings since the war started, at the end of the summer of the IED. Since April, 155 American soldiers have been killed by roadside bombs, more than double the number during the same period last year. The toll of 72 killed in June and July was the highest over a two-month period since the war began.
The casualties are a blow to a US army taskforce headed by Brigadier General Joseph Votel, which has failed to find ways to protect from the up to 700 roadside bombs a month.
The Iraqi resistance fighters are using shaped charges to increase the deadly effect of their ambushes. They are also reported to be triggering explosives by infrared lasers, thus bypassing electronic jammers used to block radio detonators.