UK's first soldier killed in riot near Basra | india | Hindustan Times
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UK's first soldier killed in riot near Basra

The first British soldier to die in combat since the Iraq war began was shot near Basra during a riot, officers said, as the operation to take the southern capital became bogged down.

india Updated: Mar 25, 2003 11:12 IST

The first British soldier to die in combat since the Iraq war began was shot near Basra during a riot, officers said, as the operation to take the southern capital became bogged down.

The man, who has not been named, was hit on Sunday evening during attempts to calm rioting Iraqi civilians and died of his wounds on Monday.

Officers said that the shooting occurred during a "civil disturbance in the Basra area", but declined to give further details.

Two British soldiers who disappeared on Sunday after their Land Rover was ambushed by Iraqi fighters using a rocket-propelled grenade, in the town of al Zubayr, just west of Basra, remained missing on Monday night.

No trace had been found of their vehicle and it was feared the pair have been either captured or killed.

Serious pockets of resistance have been met in al Zubayr.

The British Ministry of Defence refused to comment further on either incident, citing the need to contact next-of-kin and maintain operational confidentiality with respect to missing persons.

British commanders were considering calling in paratroopers and Royal Marine Commandos to assist the battle for Basra after acknowledging it might be necessary to engage in street combat to secure the city.