Three others were wounded in the incident yesterday morning, believed to have been a roadside bomb exploding near their convoy in Basra.
The soldier has not been identified, but the death is the third in a week for the Army. Donal Meade and Stephen Manning, both fusiliers, were killed last Monday when their vehiclewas the target of a roadside bomb east of Shaibah airbase, in the same British-patrolled province.
Mr Reid - who was visiting UK troops forming part of the Nato force in Kosovo yesterday - said from Pristina: "I was greatly 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 the families of those injured, in this appalling act of violence." A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "A British serviceman has been killed and three injured in an attack in Basra province. An investigation into the incident is now under way."
A spokesman in Basra said the injured soldiers were being treated at a field hospital in Shaibah.
Yesterday's death brings to 95 the number of British service personnel killed in Iraq since March 2003.
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