Fifteen Iraqi soldiers were killed accidentally during what were meant to be controlled explosions in a town outside the northern city of Mosul on Friday, a defence ministry official said.
Among the dead was one army officer, while one soldier was also seriously wounded, said the official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media.
The accident occurred on the outskirts of Baashiqa, around 30 kilometres (18 miles) northeast of Mosul.
A military source told AFP the soldiers were carrying out routine controlled explosions of roadside bombs which had been collected in the area over the previous week.
Iraq took over responsibility for security in its towns and cities on July 1, with US combat troops scheduled to leave the country by August 2010, and all American forces required to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.