Two British soldiers killed in Iraq attack

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The Independent Online

Two British soliders have been killed and a third injured in an incident at Al Amarah in Iraq. In Baghdad, dozens of people were killed in a series of explosions.

An MoD spokeswoman said of the Al amarah attack: "We can confirm it is an incident at Al Amarah. Two British soldiers were killed and a third sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Next of kin are being informed and no further information is being released."

The deaths take the number of UK service personnel who have died since the Iraq conflict began to 103.

Al Amarah, on the river Tigris south of Baghdad, was where video footage obtained by the News of the World appeared to show British troops beating up Iraqi prisoners.

The city, in Maysan province north of the main British base at Basra, has seen trouble flare before, both with local rioting and insurgent attacks.

Last month Lance Corporal Allan Douglas, 22, from Aberdeen, was shot and fatally wounded while on a routine patrol there.

And on 16 July last year three soldiers - Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer, Private Leon Spicer and Private Phillip Hewett of C Company, The 1st Battalion Staffordshire Regiment - were killed when an explosion hit a patrol of three armoured Land Rovers in Al Amarah.

* In Baghdad today, four explosions, including two car bombs and a suicide bomber, killed at least 36 people and injuring scores, police said.

A man wearing an explosives belt blew himself up at a gas station in the eastern New Baghdad neighorhood, killing 23 people and injuring 51, said Interior Ministry official Maj. Falah al-Mohammedawi.

A car bomb targeting a police patrol in the same neighborhood killed nine people and injured 17 — all civilians — said police Lt. Alu Abbas and medic Rahim al-Waedi.

Another car bomb exploded near a Shiite mosque in the crowded southeastern Karada neighborhood, killing four people and injuring 16, said al-Mohammedawi.

The vehicle was parked next to a small market opposite the Timimi mosque, which was closed for repairs, police said. Distraught residents rushed to the scene, as fire fighters fought back flames from a burning car.

A fourth blast took place in an open area near the downtown national theater, al-Mohammedawi said. Initial police reports indicated a mortar blast. There were no reports of casualties.

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