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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
British serviceman killed in Iraq
Private Craig Barber, picture from MoD
Private Craig Barber died on Monday in Basra
A British airman was killed in a small arms fire attack in Basra in southern Iraq on Tuesday night, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The airman, from 1 Squadron, RAF Regiment, has not been named yet but next of kin have been informed.

Meanwhile, a British soldier, also killed in a small arms attack in Basra, has been named as Private Craig Barber.

Pte Barber, 20, from Ogmore Vale in Wales, died on Monday in an operation in the Al Fursi district of the city.

He had been driving a Warrior vehicle as part of a night operation to counter indirect fire attacks on Basra Palace.

Wedding anniversary

Pte Barber joined the 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh three years ago and was on his second tour of duty in Iraq.

Fellow soldiers revealed he had been due to return home on leave this month to celebrate his first wedding anniversary with his wife, Donna, and their three-year-old son, Bradley.

He was a huge physical presence in his platoon but was the epitome of the gentle giant
Major Steve Mannings

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Swift, said: "Craig married Donna in August last year and was looking forward to their first anniversary. He had arranged his leave in order to be there.

"He was a caring, loving father to Bradley who turned three only last month. He has always been a physically imposing guy and had a larger than life personality."

He added: "Craig died as he lived; working for others and helping to protect them."

Company commander Major Steve Mannings said: "He was a huge physical presence in his platoon but was the epitome of the gentle giant, always ready for a chat, always eager to please - he was an extremely popular young man."

Second Lieutenant Olly Pope, Pte Barber's platoon commander, described him as one of the best Warrior drivers in the platoon.

The death of the British airman brings the total number of UK personnel killed in Iraq to 166.




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