October’s U.S. death toll in Iraq matched the lowest monthly total of the war, with 13 deaths — seven in combat — reported by the Defense Department.

The earlier low came in July of this year, as security improvements throughout the country translated into lowered violence targeted at U.S. troops.

The Pentagon figures for October mark the first time in the war that no U.S. combat deaths were reported in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad. The two Baghdad deaths were reported as nonhostile.

Security improvements have been attributed to the now-reversed troop "surge," a turning of tribes against al-Qaida and other militant groups, and the emergence of paid "Sons of Iraq" who patrol neighborhoods.

Last October, 38 U.S. deaths were reported in Iraq, and in 2006, there were 106 U.S. deaths.

Over the past month, there were 15 U.S. deaths reported in Afghanistan, all from enemy fire.

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