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Last Updated: Friday, 7 November, 2003, 15:09 GMT
Welsh soldier, 18, killed in Iraq
British troops in Basra
British army forces have lost 53 personnel in Iraq
A soldier killed in a road crash in southern Iraq was from south Wales, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

Private Ryan Lloyd Thomas, 18, from Resolven in the Neath Valley, was serving with the 1st Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Wales.

He was on duty in Basra when the fatal road traffic accident occurred on Thursday morning.

Private Thomas's death takes the number of UK forces to be killed in Iraq to 53.

An army spokesman said: "There were no indications of hostile action and no other person or people were hurt.

A statement on the MoD's website announcing the death read: "It is with very deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has to confirm the death of Private Ryan Lloyd Thomas in a road traffic accident whilst on duty in Basra on 6 November 2003.

Conflict

"Our thoughts and prayers are very much with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Welsh secretary and Neath MP Peter Hain, whose constituency includes Resolven, said of the accident: "This is very sad news.

Peter Hain
Peter Hain expressed 'deepest sympathies'

"He was a young man who was highly admired in the village, and from a family that is a very strong family in the community.

"He was involved in Resolven Rugby Club and it's a real loss for the family and for Resolven village.

"I'm very, very saddened and my deepest sympathies go out to his family."

Four other members of the armed forces from Wales have died during and after the conflict.

Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Evans, 24, from Llandudno, died in a helicopter crash on the first day of the war.

Lance Corporal Thomas Keys, 20, from Llanuwchllyn near Bala, was one of six military policemen shot at a police station 100 miles north of Basra.

Captain David Jones, 29, who was based in Lincolnshire, was killed while delivering humanitarian aid to southern Iraq.

Territorial Army soldier, 35-year-old Corporal Dewi Pritchard from Bridgend was killed with two colleagues when their vehicle was ambushed in Basra.


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