Two British soldiers killed in Basra ambush

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The Independent Online

Two British soldiers died following an ambush on a convoy near the southern Iraqi city of Basra today, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said.

Two British soldiers died following an ambush on a convoy near the southern Iraqi city of Basra today, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said.

They came under attack south west of the city and the pair were killed as they tried to rescue other soldiers from one of the vehicles in the convoy.

The spokesman said: "Two British soldiers died following the ambush of a military convoy south-west of Basra this morning.

"There was an armoured Land Rover which was badly damaged and while the soldiers were trying to extract the casualties from that Land Rover they came under further small arms fire."

Further details about those who died were being withheld until their families had been informed.

It came just hours before Prime Minister Tony Blair was due to address the Labour Party conference in Brighton.

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Meanwhile American forces unleashed a strike today on a site in the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah where several militants loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are believed to be in hiding, the US military said.

Intelligence indicated that the militants were "planning attacks using foreign suicide bombers in vehicles rigged with explosives," the military said in a statement.

There was no immediate word on casualties. But early reports showed that no civilians were in the area when the blast went off, the statement said.

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