British soldier killed in explosion in Iraq marks 100th to die since invasion

A &to=' target=_blank>British soldier was killed in an explosion in Iraq on Tuesday, the 100th U.K. service member to die since the 2003 invasion, the Ministry of Defense said.

Three other soldiers were injured in the blast _ one seriously _ near the Ten Platforms Port in Um Qasr, which is south of the city of Basra near the Kuwait border, the ministry said.

Cpl. Gordon Alexander Pritchard, 31, died this morning as he led a three-vehicle convoy, which was hit by the blast.

The Ministry of Defense said Pritchard, of Edinburgh, Scotland, was a soldier with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, serving with 7th Armored Brigade in Iraq. He was married with children.

His convoy was on a routine rations and water run when the explosion was detonated at 0534GMT, said a ministry spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with government policy.

Of the 100 British soldiers who have died in Iraq, 77 are considered to have been killed in action, while 23 died of illnesses, accidents, non-combat injuries or unknown causes. More than 230 British soldiers have been injured since the start of the Iraq war.

This is a time "to consider the contribution that they and others who have risked and given their lives have made for people in Iraq and places like Afghanistan to lift the burden of tyranny," Defense Minister John Reid said.

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