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Last Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007, 20:58 GMT 21:58 UK
Convoy attackers kill UK soldier
Fuel tanker burns in Basra
The fuel tanker continued to burn after the convey came under attack
A British soldier has died after the convoy he was travelling in came under attack in southern Iraq.

The soldier's vehicle had been part of a resupply convoy in the Al-Tuwaysa district of central Basra, the Ministry of Defence said.

He was taken to the Basra Palace UK base, but died of injuries sustained in the small arms fire attack.

In a separate attack on the same convoy a Turkish civilian driver died when a fuel tanker caught fire.

Television pictures showed jubilant gun-carrying Iraqis celebrating after the attack.

James Shaw, the BBC's correspondent in Baghdad, said: "These incidents can be extremely unpleasant to view and, of course, Basra is a city like many others in Iraq where the rule of law does not always run.

"The British forces are there but increasingly they are confined to base, patrolling the streets less, so it is down to the Iraqi police and army to exert control and sometimes clearly that's not happening."

Major David Gell, a British army spokesman in Basra, said he was unable to confirm reports that Iraqis had dragged the civilian driver's corpse away from the burning truck and danced around it, flashing victory signs at press photographers.

"Some of the circumstances of events are still a little unclear," he said.

Deadliest month

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that a UK soldier has died as a result of wounds that he sustained in an incident in the Al Tuwaysa district of central Basra.

"The soldier was injured during an attack on the resupply convoy to an MNF [Multi-National Force] base that he was travelling in.

"The soldier was evacuated to Basra Palace for treatment, but sadly he later died of his wounds.

"A fuel tanker was also set on fire and was blown over. As a result of this a civilian driver was sadly killed."

Not all of the dead soldier's family members have been made aware of his death and further details about him are not being released at the moment.

The soldier's death brings to 149 the number of British troops killed in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003.

April was the deadliest month for British soldiers since the first month of the war, with 11 troops killed.






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