Insurgents dragged Iraqi soldiers off a bus and shot 12 of them dead in the bloodiest attack on security forces since last weekend's historic election, the Iraqi army said on Thursday.
Two soldiers survived and fled to a nearby village after their bus was ambushed near the northern oil city of Kirkuk late on Wednesday. The soldiers had been returning from vacation.
Two U.S. Marines were also killed on Wednesday in Anbar province west of Baghdad, a hotbed of anti-American militancy.
The deaths took the number of U.S. military and Pentagon personnel killed in action in Iraq since the invasion of March 2003 to at least 1,102.