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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 18:55 GMT
UK soldier dies in Iraq bombing
A UK patrol in Basra
The soldier was on a British patrol in Basra, southern Iraq
A British soldier has been killed by a roadside bomb in Basra in southern Iraq, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The soldier, from the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, was on a routine patrol when he was killed in the blast near Basra's US consulate.

The bomb also wounded an unknown number of Iraqi civilians.

The death brings the total number of UK troops killed in operations in Iraq to 131. Some 7,500 British troops are currently based in Basra.

"I can confirm that a British soldier has been killed after a roadside bomb attack," said the Army spokesman.

The explosion occurred near the city's main waterway at about 0930 local time (0630GMT).

He said the injured civilians had been taken to a nearby hospital.

A number of armoured Warrior vehicles were taking part in the patrol when the bomb was detonated, although it is not clear whether the soldier was inside or outside a vehicle at the time.

'Thorough investigation'

The spokesman said it was too early to reveal the soldier's regiment or further details about the attack.

He said: "As with any such incident, it will be the subject of a thorough investigation."

BBC Baghdad correspondent Andrew North said: "Roadside bombs have been one of the most deadly threats the troops are facing down there and have claimed many lives.

"One of the reasons they are using the Warriors is because of this higher threat from roadside bombs."

Last month an 18-year-old British soldier was killed in the northern part of city after the patrol vehicle in which he was travelling was hit by a roadside bomb.

Private Michael Tench of A Company, 2nd Battalion the Light Infantry, was killed on 21 January.

Four soldiers were also injured in the attack, one "very seriously".

UK troops patrol the streets of Basra

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