13/09/2005

MoD names soldier killed in Iraq

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed the name of a British soldier killed in a bomb explosion in Iraq on Sunday.

Major Matthew Bacon, 34, from the London area, was travelling in an armoured landrover in Basra, southern Iraq, when a roadside bomb exploded, hitting the vehicle.

Major Bacon’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Barrow, said: “Major Matt Bacon’s death is a desperate loss to his family and his girlfriend and a tragic blow to his friends and colleagues. His death is deeply felt by all those who have been privileged to serve alongside him."

Major Bacon’s parents released a statement, describing their son as a “hero”. The statement said: “Our son was a hero, invincible we thought, having served in conflict zones including Northern Ireland, the Gulf, former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, as well as enjoying high-risk sports like sky-diving.

"We have always understood the risks attached to Matthew’s career but never imagined that anything could or would happen to our son.

"We are immensely proud of Matthew, of the leader he became, the lives of people he touched directly and indirectly and the good work he did throughout his career.”

Three other British soldiers were seriously injured in Sunday’s blast, which occurred around 11:00am local time. The MoD confirmed that they are now in a stable condition.

An Iraqi civilian was also injured during the attack and was taken to an Iraqi hospital for treatment.

Speaking from Pristina on Monday, where he was visiting British forces, Secretary of State for Defence, John Reid, said: ”I was deeply saddened to hear this morning of the death of a British soldier on duty in Iraq. As always, my thoughts are with the family and with the families of those injured in this appalling act of violence."

On September 5, two other British soldiers were also killed in a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq.

Major Bacon’s death brings the total of military personnel to die in Iraq to 95, since hostilities began in March 2003.

(KMcA/SP)

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