BAGHDAD — A soldier killed last weekend just south of here was the U.S. military's first fatality in a new fleet of heavily armored vehicles designed to protect soldiers from roadside bombs, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Tuesday.
A bomb that went off under the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected truck near Arab Jabour did not penetrate the cabin but threw the vehicle into the air and caused it to overturn, Morrell said.
Three other soldiers in the MRAP were injured. The dead soldier was a gunner, and was in a more exposed position atop the truck.
Commanders believed that the three wounded soldiers would not have escaped life-threatening injuries in a less armored vehicle, Morrell said.
MRAPs have a raised V-shaped hull and armor plating designed to protect troops inside by deflecting blasts away from the vehicle.
The U.S. military also reported that a soldier died Tuesday of injuries sustained in a noncombat-related vehicle rollover in the northern city of Kirkuk.
At least 3,931 American troops have died since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, according to the independent website icasualties.org.