An investigation has been launched after a British soldier shot and killed an Iraqi during a demonstration in
The clashes were reportedly sparked by a false rumour over pay
About 100 Iraqi protesters had gathered in the southern Iraqi city on Saturday morning, an Army spokesman said.
The demonstration coincided with a violent protest in Baghdad which also left one dead.
Witnesses said both demonstrations were by Saddam Hussein's former soldiers over redundancy pay.
Spokesman Major Simon Routledge told the Reuters news agency a British soldier in Basra heard gunfire
and then shot and killed an Iraqi holding a weapon.
Witnesses said the dead Iraqi had been a security guard who
fired a warning shot when protesters were approaching.
British soldiers thought they were under attack and opened fire.
Captain Hisham Halawi told the AP news agency the Basra protest broke out when ex-Iraqi soldiers acted on a false rumour that Saturday was the last day they would receive redundancy payments.
Major Niall Greenwood, a British spokesman for the multinational force in Basra, said it was too early to determine whether the Basra protest
involved ex-Iraqi military.
But he said payments were working well in Iraq's second city.
"We are talking about two
very different demonstrations many miles apart," he said.
"We take any incident like this, which are fortunately few and far
between, very seriously.
"We are still investigating what happened and it is too early to say who was
The Iraqi army was officially disbanded in May, leaving thousands of personnel suddenly unemployed.
After a series of violent protests, the Iraqi soldiers persuaded the US-led administration to pay them redundancy money - which is distributed to them on a daily basis.
There are 12,000 UK troops in Iraq, and many of them are stationed in the southern city.
In August, there was a string of attacks on the British forces which left four soldiers dead.