WASHINGTON (AP) _ Among the surging number of American troops killed in action in Iraq this month were five 18-year-olds. In the previous 13 months of the war, eight troops that age had died, of which two were killed in action.

The five 18-year-olds listed as killed in action this month were all Marines, who typically are younger than the average soldier.

The fifth, announced Thursday, was Lance Cpl. Marcus M. Cherry of Imperial, Calif. He died Tuesday in the Al Anbar Province that is the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force's area of responsibility.

The Marines did not describe how Cherry died other than to say it involved ``hostile fire.''

The minimum age to join the U.S. military is 17, with parental approval. While the is no age restriction for going to war, the services typically do not send people overseas until age 18.

Five 19-year-olds _ four Marines and one soldier _ also have been killed in the past week, compared with 35 in the previous 13 months.

One female soldier also was among this month's killed in action. Spc. Tyanna S. Felder, 22, of Bridgeport, Conn., died of injuries sustained Sunday in Mosul when her convoy vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. She was a member of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Wash.