At least three Italian troops and one Romanian soldier have been killed in a bomb attack in southern Iraq, the Romanian and Italian Defense Ministries confirmed on Thursday. A fourth Italian was seriously injured in the incident, occurred as the troops were patrolling an area in the city of Nasiriya.

Romanian PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu and the Romanian Foreign Ministry condemned the attack and expressed their sympathy for the family of the victim.

The Romanian soldier was part of a joint Romanian-Italian patrol operating south of Nasiriya. They vehicle transporting them was hit by a roadside bomb, according to official information.

The Romanian Defense Ministry gave no details on the identity of the Romanian soldier or the exact number of victims.

The news comes as Romanian troops in Southern Iraq were returning to normal activities after the Orthodox Easter. And it comes as Italy was still struggling to find a government after recent general elections in which neither the incumbent PM Silvio Berlusconi, nor the opposition coalition led by Romano Prodi could claim certain victory.

Italy announced earlier this year that it would pull its troops out of Iraq before the end of 2006.