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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 11:19 GMT
UK soldier dies after Iraq attack
British troops in Basra
An operation to quell violence in Basra has been taking place
A British soldier in Iraq has died after a "small arms fire attack", the Ministry of Defence has said.

The soldier with the 2nd Battalion The Rifles - formerly 1st Battalion Royal Green Jackets - was injured while on patrol in Basra on Tuesday morning.

He was treated in hospital but died from his injuries, the MoD said. His next of kin have been informed.

UK troops levels are set to be reduced this year. The number of personnel killed in operations now stands at 133.

Combat has claimed the lives of 102.

Security operation

The MoD said the soldier had been part of a routine patrol in the al-Maqil district of the southern Iraq city.

"The soldier sustained very serious injuries and, despite receiving the best possible medical care at a field hospital in theatre, he later died from his wounds," a spokesman said.

Last week the government said troop numbers would be cut from 7,100 to 5,500, the first large-scale withdrawal from Iraq.

The announcement follows a five-month security operation to quell violence in the Basra area.

It was also revealed that Prince Harry, a member of the Household Cavalry Blues and Royals regiment, will be among the soldiers deployed to Basra as part of a long-planned rotation.

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