Six British forces personnel have been killed and eight injured in two separate incidents north of Basra.
The announcement from Downing Street said the six were killed near Al Amarah, but gave no further details of the incident.
Tony Blair's official spokesman said that in a second incident troops from the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment patrolling south of Al Amarah came under fire and took one casualty.
An RAF Chinook helicopter involved in a quick response to the incident came under fire as it landed and seven on board the aircraft were wounded, three seriously.
Mr Blair's spokesman said: "There have been two incidents today near Al Amarah. We very much regret to confirm that in one incident, six British personnel have been killed.
"Arrangements are in hand to inform their next of kin.
"In the second incident, troops from 1 Para patrolling south of Al Amarah came under fire. The patrol took one casualty and two vehicles were destroyed.
"In response to the incident, an RAF Chinook helicopter carrying a quick response force came under fire as it landed.
"Seven personnel on board the helicopter were wounded, three of them seriously. All were extracted by helicopter and are receiving treatment."
Story filed: 16:17 Tuesday 24th June 2003
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