"Two Task Force Ironhorse soldiers were killed in a mortar attack at approximately 6:15 pm (15:15 GMT) (on Thursday)," said Major Josslyn Aberle on Friday.

"Four additional soldiers were wounded in the attack. All are in stable condition," she added.

The 32,000-strong Taskforce Ironhorse, responsible for the provinces of Diyala, Taamim, and Saddam Hussein's home province of Salahuddin, is headed by the 4th Infantry Division.

Baquba, 60 kms from Baghdad, remains a battlefront in the persistent resistance attacks dogging the eight-month-old US-led occupation. A mortar attack on the main US base in Baquba in October struck the compound's recreation centre, wounding about a dozen soldiers.

The death raises to 206 the number of US soldiers killed in action in Iraq since US President George Bush declared major combat over on 1 May.

Polish soldiers ambushed

Fighters also wounded two Polish soldiers in an ambush in
southern Iraq, the latest in a string of attacks on the forces
of countries which have answered Washington's call for troops to help it secure the country it invaded to topple Saddam Hussein.

A Polish-led division of multinational troops said the Polish troops were attacked on Thursday night with bombs and small arms fire near Mahawil, about 80 kms  south of the capital. 

"Their injuries are not life-threatening," a spokesman for the division said.