British soldier killed in Iraq

A British solider has been killed in Iraq, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

The soldier, who was serving with the 2nd Battalion The Rifles - formerly 1st Battalion Royal Green Jackets) - was injured while on a routine patrol in the Al Maqil district of Basra. It is understood that the patrol came under small arms fire.

The MoD said that the soldier suffered very serious injuries and was taken to hospital but died later from his injuries.

The soldier is the 133rd member of the British forces to die in Iraq since hostilities began in 2003 and the 102nd to be killed during combat.

Last week, Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that troop numbers in Iraq would be reduced from 7,100 to 5,500 over the coming months.

It was also announced last week that Prince Harry would be deployed to Iraq later this year.

The 22-year-old, known as Cornet Wales, will be in command of a troop from A Squadron of the Household Cavalry Regiment and will serve in Iraq for six months.


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