Friday 16 June 2006, 2:46 Makka Time, 23:46 GMT
The number of US military deaths in Iraq has reached 2,500, the Pentagon said on Thursday, and the military warned it expected the new leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq to continue the bloody tactics of his predecessor.
In Washington, the Pentagon said 18,490 US troops had been wounded in the war, which began in March 2003. On an average day, about two US military personnel are killed.
Tens of thousands of Iraqis have also been killed since the US-led invasion more than three years ago to overthrow Saddam Hussein, igniting an uprising by his once-dominant Sunni Arab minority that is showing little sign of easing.
The US military said it believed the real identity of al-Qaeda's new leader in Iraq is Egyptian-born Abu Ayyub al-Masri and that it expected him to adopt the same methods as his predecessor Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, killed in a June 7 air raid.