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Last Updated: Monday, 12 September 2005, 20:08 GMT 21:08 UK
MoD names soldier killed in Iraq
Major Matthew Bacon on an earlier tour of duty in Afghanistan
Major Bacon, known as Matt, is the 95th UK soldier to die in Iraq
A British soldier killed in an attack in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Sunday has been named by UK officials.

The Ministry of Defence said Major Matthew Bacon, who was 34 and from the London area, died when a roadside bomb hit the vehicle he was travelling in.

Major Bacon's parents said he was a hero whom they believed invincible and that he had served in many conflict zones around the world.

Three other soldiers badly hurt in the blast are now out of danger.

We would be very grateful to everyone if our family and friends could be left in peace to come to terms with our very sad loss
Major Bacon's family statement

The MoD said that they were still being treated at a field hospital in Britain's Shaibah base.

Major Bacon's family said in a statement: "We have always understood the risks attached to Matthew's career but never imagined that anything could or would happen to our son.

"We are immensely proud of Matthew, of the leader he became, the lives of people he touched directly and indirectly and the good work he did throughout his career.

"We would be very grateful to everyone if our family and friends could be left in peace to come to terms with our very sad loss."

Improvised device

Major Bacon's death brings the number of UK soldiers killed in Iraq to 95.

In a statement, the MoD said the fatal attack took place at approximately 11.00 (0815 BST) on Sunday when an armoured Snatch Landrover was attacked with an improvised device.

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

An Iraqi civilian was also injured in the attack and was taken to an Iraqi hospital for treatment.

As always, my thoughts are with the family, and the families of those injured, in this appalling act of violence
John Reid
Defence Secretary

Speaking from Kosovo on Sunday, where he is visiting British troops, Defence Secretary John Reid sent his condolences.

He said: "I was greatly saddened to hear this morning of the death of a British soldier on duty in Iraq.

"As always, my thoughts are with the family, and the families of those injured, in this appalling act of violence."

The Shaibah base, about 10 miles south-west of Basra, is the British logistics headquarters in Iraq.

On 5 September two British soldiers were also killed by a roadside bomb as they travelled in a convoy five miles east of the base.




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Scene of the attack on the convoy




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