Iraqi insurgents have carried out one of their deadliest attacks on US forces since the end of the war.
Fourteen marines have been killed by a roadside bomb. It exploded as an amphibious assault vehicle was passing by south of Haditha, a town around 200 kilometres northwest of Baghdad.
A civilian translator also died and one marine was injured.
On Monday six US solders were killed in Haditha. The western Anbar province is the heartland of the Sunni-led insurgency.
Meanwhile Iraq may have seen its first politically motivated murder of a western journalist since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
American reporter Steven Vincent was abucted and shot dead in Basra just days after he published an article in the New York Times criticising the spread of Shi’ite Islamic fundamentalism in the city.