Four hurt in attack on British military base

Four soldiers were wounded in a mortar attack on a British military base in Iraq today, the Ministry of Defence said.

Three of those hurt in the shelling had minor injuries and were treated by a military doctor at the Abu Naji base near the city of Amara, around 230 miles south-east of Baghdad.

A fourth soldier, who was more seriously injured, was taken to the military hospital at Shaibah, where his condition was stable, an MoD spokesman in Basra said.

The attack, in which a substantial number of mortars fell inside the base in the Maysan province, started at around 4.20am local time.

The attack was confirmed by Calee Gedoll, a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman in Basra.

One of the British soldiers received a serious leg injury, but the other injuries were minor, said Holly Wheeler, an MoD spokeswoman in London.

On Saturday, two British soldiers died in a roadside bomb attack in Basra, bringing the British military death toll in Iraq to 111.

They were killed as they travelled in a convoy of armoured Land Rover vehicles at about 11.45pm local time.

A third soldier, who was believed to have suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries, was being treated at the military hospital at Shaibah Logistics Base.

The latest deaths came after five military personnel were killed when their Lynx helicopter crashed in Basra just over a week ago.

The helicopter crashed into the top of a two-storey building after it was apparently hit by a rocket.

Defence Secretary Des Browne said the loss of seven British servicemen and women in the past week was "very tragic and very sad", but it would not stop progress in helping Iraqis to safely govern their own country without foreign assistance.

He said: "We shall continue to serve the Iraqi people in the way in which we have for as long as they, through their government, want us to be there."

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