British guard shot dead while protecting workers

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The Independent Online

A British man was shot and killed in Iraq yesterday, becoming the second civilian worker from the UK to die there this year. Michael Bloss, 38, a former soldier with the Parachute Regiment, was shot in a gun battle near the town of Hit, north-west of Baghdad.

A British man was shot and killed in Iraq yesterday, becoming the second civilian worker from the UK to die there this year. Michael Bloss, 38, a former soldier with the Parachute Regiment, was shot in a gun battle near the town of Hit, north-west of Baghdad.

Mr Bloss, who was from Wales, arrived in Iraq last month to work for Custer Battles, a firm that specialises in high-risk security. He was reported to have died after coming under fire while protecting three workers.

In an e-mail to friends in the US sent on Wednesday, Mr Bloss wrote: "We are expecting to be overrun tonight, and we may have to fight our way to a safe haven. Unfortunately all the safe havens are already under attack. I don't wish to alarm you - we will probably be OK."

Last month, Scott Mounce, 29, an engineer, died in an attack on a hotel in Baghdad.

Fears are growing for the safety of a British man who was kidnapped in Iraq five days ago. Gary Teeley, a laundry firm consultant, disappeared in the city of Nasiriyah on Monday.

The Foreign Office said it was working to locate Mr Teeley, originally from Woolwich in south-east London, who was working for a Qatari company. Mr Teeley, a father of five, was 37 on Thursday. He is believed to have lived in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, before moving to Dubai three years ago.

The Foreign Office would not confirm reports that Mr Teeley had been kidnapped while driving with colleagues from a US army camp where he was working. They said they were not fully aware of the circumstances.

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