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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 April 2007, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Two UK soldiers killed in Iraq
Map of Maysan Province
Two British soldiers have been killed in south-east Iraq, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

The soldiers, from the Catterick-based Queen's Royal Lancers, were on a routine patrol in Maysan Province when they were caught in an explosion.

Three further soldiers were injured - one seriously. They have been flown to Tallil airbase in Dhi Qar province.

The two deaths bring the total number of UK troops killed in operations in Iraq to 144.

The soldiers were patrolling in a Scimitar tank when the blast occurred at 1120 local time (0820 BST) on Thursday.

They were killed a day after Iraqi authorities took over control of security enforcement in Maysan Province.

The soldiers' families have asked for 24 hours before any further details are released about their deaths.

Their regiment is currently nearing the end of a six-month tour.

British forces withdrew from a permanent base in Maysan last August, but have continued to work at improving border security in the province.

Two military personnel were killed on Sunday when two Puma helicopters crashed in an apparent mid-air collision in a rural area near Taji, north of Baghdad.

They have been named as Colour Sergeant Mark Powell, 37, of the Parachute Regiment and Sergeant Mark McLaren, 27, of the RAF.

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