Three females are among the six US marines killed in a suicide attack in Iraq. Most of the thirteen soldiers wounded in subsequent gunfire were also women.

The suicide attack in the city of Fallujah was one of the deadliest single attacks on US ground forces.

Officials say the troops were returning to their base after duty at checkpoints around Fallujah, where female soldiers are employed to search women entering and leaving the city.

The suicide bomb attack came as the Iraqi Prime Minister and the US President held talks in Washington.