Snip: The suicide car bomb and ensuing small-arms fire killed at least two Marines and four others were missing and presumed dead. At least one woman was killed, and 11 of the 13 wounded troops were female.

The ambush late Thursday also suggested Iraqi insurgents may have regained a foothold in Fallujah, which has been occupied by U.S. and Iraqi forces since they regained control of the city from insurgents seven months ago.

The women were part of a team of Marines assigned to various checkpoints around Fallujah. The Marines use females at the checkpoints to search Muslim women “in order to be respectful of Iraqi cultural sensitivities,” a military statement said.