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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 September 2005, 07:44 GMT 08:44 UK
Two NI-based soldiers die in Iraq
A British soldier inspects the site of the blast that earlier killed two colleagues
94 British soldiers have died in Iraq since March 2003
Two soldiers based in Northern Ireland have been killed by a roadside bomb as they travelled in southern Iraq.

The dead men were from the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers which is based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, the Ministry of Defence said.

They were in a convoy travelling about five miles east of the Shaibah airbase, in Basra, when the explosion happened.

The soldiers' names will not be released until their next of kin has been informed.

They were based in the Multinational Division South-East area, which comprises a large part of southern Iraq where coalition troops operate under British command.

'Deeply tragic'

Defence Secretary John Reid offered his sympathy and condolences to the families of those who died.

He said: "It is deeply tragic that they have been killed whilst carrying out their duty."

Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is in Beijing for an EU-China summit, was being informed of the deaths.

His official spokesman said: "We will watch developments with sadness as when ever attacks like this occur in Iraq."

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

The deaths bring the British military death toll in Iraq to 94 since the outbreak of hostilities in March 2003.


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