BAGHDAD, Iraq - The death of a Texas soldier, announced Sunday by the Pentagon, raised the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq to at least 3,000 since the war began, according to an Associated Press count.
The grim milestone was crossed on the final day of 2006 and at the end of the deadliest month for the American military in Iraq in the past 12 months. At least 111 U.S. service members were reported to have died in December.
Spc. Dustin R. Donica, 22, of Spring, Texas, was killed Thursday by small arms fire in Baghdad, the Defense Department said. Donica was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
His death was not announced by U.S. military authorities in Baghdad.
At least 820 U.S. military personnel died in Iraq in 2006, according to the AP count.