Witnesses said attackers slit the throats of the two soldiers in the centre of the town.

After the incident, American soldiers threw a cordon around the vehicle and questioned Iraq onlookers.

A spokesman for the US 101st Airborne Division, based in Mosul, confirmed that two soldiers had been killed but gave no further details.

With the latest deaths, 184 US soldiers have been killed in action since the United States declared major combat in Iraq over on May 1.