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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 October, 2004, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Dead Black Watch soldier named
Land Rovers of the 1st Battalion The Black Watch
The convoy's vehicles were covered with Union flags on the journey
The Ministry of Defence has named the Black Watch soldier killed as British troops moved to their new base in a US-controlled area of Iraq.

Private Kevin Thomas McHale, 27, from Fife, died when the Warrior armoured vehicle he was driving overturned.

Three others suffered minor injuries in the accident in Iraq's North Babil province.

The first troops to have arrived at the base have begun meeting local tribal leaders, the MoD said.

They're meeting tribal leaders and getting a feel for what life is like on the ground there
MoD spokesman

A Ministry statement said Private McHale had served five years with the battalion as a Warrior armoured vehicle driver.

"Our thoughts and prayers are very much with his family at this difficult time," it said.

The three injured soldiers were "back at work" after receiving treatment in a military hospital.

BBC correspondent Nick Springate, who is travelling with the Black Watch battlegroup, said Private McHale's vehicle was one of almost 200 that formed a convoy stretching for nearly 10 miles.

He said the accident happened when a bridge collapsed as the vehicle crossed over it.

The 850-strong battlegroup left Basra in southern Iraq two days ago, but was delayed by a series of roadside bombs.

More on where the troops have moved to

The soldiers' destination, Camp Dogwood, a military industrial complex 20 miles west of the militant stronghold town of Mahmudiya, also came under bombardment.

The military said no-one was injured in the attacks.

British Army spokesman, Major Charlie Mayo, earlier said: "We weren't surprised by it, although we didn't want anything like this to happen of course.

"But the vehicles were manned by soldiers who were prepared for something to happen, and were able to deal with any eventuality."

Troops arrive

The first troops to arrive immediately began digging trenches and establishing defences in case of attack by Sunni militants.

An MoD spokesman told BBC News Online some troops were also moving out into the community.

"They're meeting tribal leaders and getting a feel for what life is like on the ground there," he said.

The MoD said all troops would be at the base by the end of the weekend.
Warrior armoured vehicle in Iraq
The soldier was killed when the Warrior overturned

Britain agreed to Washington's request for the redeployment, but 8,000 UK troops remain in southern Iraq.

BBC correspondent Ben Brown, in southern Iraq, said: "It had been assumed the Black Watch battlegroup would be operating in a string of lawless towns south of Baghdad, full of Sunni extremists.

"But it now turns out the British will be patrolling an area to the west of the Euphrates river, which is largely barren desert and therefore potentially rather less dangerous."

Meanwhile the parents of two British soldiers killed in Iraq led a protest in Glasgow on Saturday demanding all troops be home by Christmas.

More than 400 people rallied to hear Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed in Basra earlier this year, and Reg Keys, whose son Tom died in Al-Majarr in 2003.

"Gordon may not be here but I want the other boys brought back," said Mrs Gentle. Mr Keys said his son had gone to war based "on a lie".




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Army officials say the convoy did not come under fire



FROM OTHER NEWS SITES:
Independent Black Watch soldier's death mourned - 13 hrs ago
Glasgow Sunday Mail Kevin Was So Loving And Caring .. I Couldn't Have Had A Better Son - Elizabeth Mchale Yesterday - 14 hrs ago
Daily Mail Killed Black Watch soldier named - 20 hrs ago
Edinburgh Evening News Black Watch regroups after first soldier dies - 26 hrs ago
IC Huddersfield Soldier killed in Iraq convoy crash - 28 hrs ago
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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES:
CNN British troops move further north - 5 hrs ago
Daily Mail Black Watch troops continue north - 7 hrs ago
Mirror Into The Triangle Of Death - 8 hrs ago
Glasgow Herald Regiment plans to be rushed through - 13 hrs ago
Middle East Online British troops start risky Iraq mission - 29 hrs ago
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


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