Four British soldiers were killed today in an ambush in southern Iraq, the Ministry of Defence said.
They and their Kuwaiti interpreter died after being hit by a roadside bomb while on a patrol west of Basra.
An MoD spokeswoman said: "It is with deep regret that we can confirm that four British soldiers and a civilian interpreter were killed in a roadside bomb attack against a Warrior patrol west of Basra this morning.
"Next of kin are being informed and no further details will be released until this process is complete."
Captain Katie Brown, a spokeswoman for the British military in Basra, said a fifth British soldier was seriously wounded in the incident.
The patrol came under attack at about 2am local time (11pm British time) in the Hayaniyah district west of Basra, she added.
Today's fatalities bring the British death toll for the past week to six.
Pru and Gareth both noted the above, from the Independent of London's "Four British soldiers killed in Iraq bomb attack." Reuters notes this brings the number of British troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 140. The UK Military of Defence words it this way: "It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that four British soldiers and a civilian interpreter have been killed in Iraq today, 5 April 2007. The five were killed in a roadside bomb attack against a Warrior patrol west of Basra this morning. Next of kin are being informed and no further details will be released until this process is complete. " Why the British government begins sentence number two with "The five were killed . . ."? Typo? One more they haven't reported yet? Who knows?
Meanwhile, the BBC reports another US helicopter appears to have been shot down:
A US helicopter has come down in southern Iraq after apparently coming under heavy fire from insurgents, according to reports by witnesses.
They said the helicopter came under attack near Latifiya, 40km (25 miles) south of the capital, Baghdad.
There is no information on any casualties or damage and the US military says it is investigating.
The US has lost more than 50 military helicopters in Iraq since the invasion with the death of several soldiers.
A major security operation in Baghdad has resulted in a decrease in the number of attacks on coalition troops there, the US military says.
Today, the US military announced: "A MND-B Soldier died when the patrol was attacked by small arms fire in the southern outskirts of Baghdad April 3. The unit was conducting a dismounted patrol when the attack occurred. One other Soldier was wounded inthe attack."
And they announced: "An MND-B Soldier died April 3 when a patrol was attacked with small arms fire in an eastern section of the Iraqi capital. The unit was conducting a presence patrol in the area when the attack occurred." And they announced: "While conducting a combat security patrol, two MND-B Soldiers died and three others were wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated in a southern section of the Iraqi capital April 4." And they announced: "While providing escort security for another unit, two MND-B Soldiers died and another was wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated north of the Iraqi capital April 4. In recent weeks, this unit has successfully found numerous weapons caches and detained several targeted insurgents within their area of responsibility. In a separate incident, an MND-B Soldier died when a patrol was attacked with small arms fire in an eastern section of the Iraqi capital. The unit was conducting an area reconnaissance mission when the attack occurred. No other Soldiers were wounded during the attack." Please note all incidents were inside Baghdad or (first one noted) on "the outskirts of" Baghdad -- home of the 'crackdown.'
Note that none of the announced deaths have to do with the helicopter. Reuters places the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war at 3264.
Eight announced deaths, a helicopter shot down and Crazy John McCain wants to tell the world to be 'cautiously optimistic'? And haven't many in the press assisted with that of late as the violence has dropped off in the reports? The violence has ceased, the reporting appears to have backed off. Today's news in print is all about US forces allowing the 5 Iranian diplomats to be seen by the Red Cross. Little Willie Caldwell fed that out just as the 15 British soldiers were on their way back to England (they have arrived).
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