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Iraq Transition

Chopper attack, bombs kill 10 U.S. troops in Iraq

Story Highlights

British Foreign Office says five Britons kidnapped in Iraq
Monday's death toll for U.S. troops in Iraq rises to 10
Two soldiers killed by roadside bomb while on patrol in Baghdad
Two troops killed when chopper shot down; six killed on recovery mission
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Ten U.S. troops died in Iraq on Monday, including eight killed in a deadly chain of events that began when a U.S. helicopter was shot down, according to a U.S. military official.

Both helicopter pilots were killed.

Two Bradley fighting vehicles rushing to the helicopter crash site were hit by exploding roadside bombs, killing six soldiers and injuring three, the official said.

In a separate attack on Memorial Day, two other U.S. soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb while conducting a "combat security patrol" in southern Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

The eight deaths related to the chopper crash occurred in volatile Diyala province between Baquba and Muqdadiya, the U.S. military announced on Tuesday.

The pilots were flying an observation mission over a major supply route when their wingman -- on a Kiowa flying nearby -- reported heavy machine-gun fire in the area.

After the helicopter went down, a quick-reaction force was called in to recover it, the official said, and the two Bradleys were blown up by roadside bombs.

Air assault forces came in by helicopter, recovered the bodies of the two pilots and destroyed the downed chopper.

The U.S. military statement said all of those killed were from Task Force Lightning, the force that patrols northern stretches of Iraq, including Diyala.

U.S. commanders have expressed concern about a rise in violence and the growing presence of al Qaeda in Iraq militants, who have fled to Diyala from other regions of the country.

The U.S. death toll for May has risen to 114, making it the deadliest month so far this year.

The highest monthly death tolls for U.S. troops occurred in 2004 -- 137 in November and 135 in April.

Since the start of the war, 3,458 U.S. service members have died. Seven civilian contractors of the Defense Department also have been killed in the war.

Nearly a dozen helicopters have been shot down or have made hard landings under fire in Iraq this year, mostly military choppers but a few operated by security contractors.

With the death of the two pilots Monday, the number killed this year in helicopter downings stands at 30.

Abductions at Finance Ministry

Five Britons and two Iraqis were kidnapped on Tuesday in Baghdad by people wearing police and army uniforms, according to an Iraqi Interior Ministry official.

"Officials from the British Embassy are in contact with Iraqi authorities to try and secure a swift resolution, and consular staff are in touch with the families of the kidnapped personnel," the Foreign Office said.

Iraqi authorities earlier reported a kidnapping at an Iraq Finance Ministry building in north-central Baghdad.

Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf, Interior Ministry spokesman, said the abduction took place on Palestine Street just before noon. A ministry official said the kidnappers wore Iraqi army and police uniforms.

Khalaf said at least 19 cars drove up to the ministry, stormed the building and fled with the kidnap victims.

Another Iraqi official said police also had reports of as many as 40 police vehicles involved in the incident, with dozens of men in Iraqi National Police uniforms.

The official said the incident took about 30 minutes from start to end and deduced that no shots were fired because the kidnappers looked official.

Joe Gavaghan, spokesman for the Montreal-based GardaWorld, said a client and four GardaWorld security professionals were forcibly taken from a work site Tuesday morning. He confirmed that the four GardaWorld employees were British but did not identify the nationality of the other.

One of those kidnapped apparently worked for BearingPoint, a management consulting firm based in McLean, Virginia.

Steve Lunceford -- a spokesman for the firm, which handles economic and financial projects in Iraq, -- confirmed that one of its employees had been kidnapped.

Car bombs near Baghdad markets kill dozens

Meanwhile, two car bombs rocked separate areas of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 38 people, an Interior Ministry official said.

Around 1:30 p.m. (5:30 a.m. ET), a parked car bomb detonated near a police checkpoint and a busy market area in central Baghdad's Tayaran Square.

At least 23 people were killed and 55 others were wounded in the attack, the official said.

About an hour later, another parked car bomb exploded in a street market in the southwestern neighborhood of Hay Amil, the official said. Initial reports indicated 15 civilians were killed and 36 others wounded, the official said.

U.S.-led coalition raids occurred around Iraq on Tuesday morning. Fourteen people were seized in Baghdad, Mosul and north of Taji, the U.S. military said.

One of those seized in Baghdad was described as the "alleged al Qaeda in Iraq emir in charge of the Hay al-Jamah area of the city."

A raid in Samarra on Saturday led to the arrest of nine "suspected al Qaeda in Iraq operatives," the U.S. military said Tuesday.

In the Saturday raid, police also seized a video camera containing evidence of a recent car bomb attack that destroyed the home of the Samarra City Council president, and found items thought "to be used for small-arms attacks, murder, kidnapping and ransom," the military said.

CNN's Arwa Damon, Cal Perry and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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