4,000 DEAD; IRAQ: 5 YEARS ON LAST WEEK George W Bush Says It's a 'Noble' Fight Which Will End with Victory THIS WEEK Fresh Attack Puts US Forces at Yet Another Grim Milestone
Byline: ANTON ANTONOWICZ US Correspondent
THE US death toll in Iraq hit 4,000 just days af ter President Bush marked the fifth anniversary of the war by vowing victory.
Four US soldiers were killed when their patrol was attacked in Baghdad on Easter Sunday.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said: "It's a sober moment. The President feels each and every death very strongly and he grieves for their families. He mourns the loss of every single life."
The soldiers with Multi-National Division were on patrol when the vehicle was hit. More than 60 civilians were killed in a wave of attacks across Iraq.
The grim milestone came despite a sharp drop in US and Iraqi deaths in recent months, after the 30,000-strong "surge" of US forces in 2007.
In Jerusalem, US vice-president Dick Cheney said: "You regret every casualty, every loss. It never gets easier." Last week Mr Bush said he had no regrets but noted the "high cost in lives and treasure".
The war has seen his ratings plummet but he said pulling out 158,000 US troops would embolden al-Qaeda. Rival Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have promised a phased withdrawal if they win the presidency. …