Three more British soldiers were killed early Thursday when a roadside bomb detonated near a passing patrol.
They were killed in the Al Antahiya district of Basra city at about 1am local time, the British military in Iraq said in a statement.
According to a spokesman they had dismounted from their Warrior armoured vehicle when an improvised explosive device detonated.
Another soldier was wounded in the blast and remains in a stable condition at a military hospital.
The British military statement said: “It is with deep regret that we can confirm that three soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device this morning.
“The device detonated at approximately 1am local time against soldiers who were dismounted from a Warrior patrol in Al Antahiya district in the south-east of Basra city.
“The soldiers were serving as part of a British contingent in the multi-national forces in the south-east of Iraq.
“We will not be naming them or revealing their regiments until 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.
Earlier in the week three foreign security contractors were killed in an ambush on a private security convoy south of Basra in southern Iraq.
The attack took place on Monday and involved at least one roadside bomb.
Major David Gell, a British military spokesman in Basra, confirmed there had been an attack on a private security convoy but gave no details. The British embassy also confirmed the incident but said it had no information on the nationalities of those involved.
Such casualties will continue until there is a complete withdrawal of British forces and foriegn military contractors (read mercenaries) from Iraq. Till then we can expect more talk and speculation about a “timetable for a phased withdrawal” – largely in an effort to placate public agitation – but unless it becomes a reality casualties will continue to mount.