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Last Updated: Friday, 2 July, 2004, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Body of Scots soldier flown home
Fusilier Gordon Gentle
Fusilier Gentle was was killed by an explosion in Basra
The body of a Scottish soldier who died in a roadside explosion in Iraq earlier this week has arrived back in the UK.

Fusilier Gordon Gentle, 19, from Glasgow, was killed while on a routine patrol in Basra on Monday.

His remains were repatriated from Iraq to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on Friday, the Ministry of Defence said.

The family of Fusilier Gentle have criticised the decision to send him out to Iraq just weeks after he finished his training.

Funeral plans

His mother, Rose, 40, said her son was just a "bit of meat" to the Government as she denounced the conflict in Iraq as a "war over oil".

The MoD insisted the soldier had been fully trained for his role, while Tony Blair expressed his condolences to the family in the House of Commons.

Fusilier Gentle's death came on the day US coalition authorities transferred sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government.

The family is obviously shattered
Tommy Sheridan
It also brought to 60 the number of British service personnel killed in Iraq since the war began in March last year.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday at St James's Church on Lyoncross Road in Pollok, Glasgow.

Tommy Sheridan, leader of the Scottish Socialist Party, knew the soldier most of his life.

He said: "The family is obviously shattered. They are glad the remains are going to be returned home and I hope and am confident the Pollok community will turn out in numbers to pay tribute to Gordon Gentle."

Mr Sheridan said he would join hundreds of mourners who are expected to pay their last respects to Fusilier Gentle.




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