Three soldiers killed in Iraq

Three British soldiers were killed and another seriously injured by a roadside bomb after they dismounted from their armoured patrol in southern Iraq today.

They came under attack in the Al Antahiya district of Basra city at about 1am local time, the British military in Iraq said.

They were returning from a re-supply mission to a base in Basra Palace and had stepped from their Warrior armoured vehicle when insurgents set off an improvised explosive device.

The soldiers' next of kin have been informed.

Today's deaths bring the total number of British military fatalities since the hostilities in Iraq began to 156.

Major David Gell, the MoD's spokesman in Basra, said: "It is with deep regret that I can confirm that three soldiers were killed and another very seriously injured by an improvised explosive device this morning.

"The device detonated at approximately 1am local time against soldiers who were dismounted from a Warrior armoured patrol in Al Antahiya district in the south-east of Basra.

"The soldiers were serving as part of a British contingent in the multi-national forces in the south east of Iraq."

Maj Gell said the injured soldier was seriously hurt and was being treated at the field hospital at the British base at the airport.

"He is now receiving the best possible medical care," he said.

"The patrol was returning from Basra palace after having conducted a routine re-supply at that base in the city.

"It wasn't a foot patrol, they had been in their Warrior armoured vehicle. There are times during patrols that soldiers are required to dismount to conduct routine checks and this is what happened here."

Maj Gell said there had been a recent increase in the number of attacks against coalition troops, in part due to their success on the ground.

"Regrettably, such attacks are not uncommon here. We are continuously striving to improve our tactics, technology and all our procedures to prevent this type of thing happening.

"To be honest, we expect that this will continue to happen in future."

Maj Gell said the number of attacks had peaked at the end February, fallen and were now on the rise again.

"We believe this to be in part because of our success against rogue militia who are trying to destabilise the situation," he said.

"We are having significant success against them in search operations, finding significant amounts of arms, ammunition and roadside bomb-making equipment.

"In arrest operations we are also targeting a number of insurgents."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Recruitment Genius: Salesforce Developer

£50000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued business growt...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Sales Executive

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss