British soldier killed in southern Iraq

Reuters reports that another British soldier has been killed in Iraq on Sunday.

He was killed while patrolling the southern Iraqi city of Basra, in what has been the bloodiest month for British forces in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

A British military spokesman in Basra, Major David Gell, said the soldier was shot after he had dismounted from his vehicle during a routine patrol in the Al-Ashar district of Basra.

“This has been a particularly hard month for us,” he said.

Thus far this April twelve British service personnel have been killed in Iraq. This is the highest number of fatalities in a single month since March 2003, when 27 were killed in the opening days of the war.

In London, the defence ministry said the soldier was from the 2nd Battalion The Rifles, but did not name him.

In recent weeks British bases have been struck by mortar fire almost every day while roadside bombs and machine gun fire have regularly hit patrols.

In the worst single attack this month, four soldiers were killed when their Warrior armoured vehicle was blown up.