LONDON - Two British soldiers were killed in Iraq and three others injured Thursday, the latest casualties in the violence-scarred country, the Ministry of Defence in London said.
"It is with great sadness that the (MoD) must confirm the death of two soldiers from the Queen's Royal Lancers, killed by an improvised explosive device in Maysan Province, southeastern Iraq," said a statement.
The soldiers were on a routine patrol in a Scimitar armoured vehicle when they were hit by the blast, it said.
"Three further soldiers were injured, one of them very seriously. All casualties were taken by helicopter to Tallil airbase in Dhi Qar province where they are receiving the best possible medical care.
The blast occurred at about 11:20 a.m. (0720 GMT).
The deaths brought to 144 the number of British troops killed in Iraq since the March 2003 US-led invasion, according to MoD figures.
Meanwhile, three more American soldiers have been killed in attacks in Iraq, the US military said Thursday, taking its losses to 53 this month alone.
Two soldiers were killed on Wednesday when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad after returning from a combat patrol.
The third soldier died when a combat security patrol was raked with gunfire in southwest Baghdad, also on Wednesday.
The latest deaths, announced while US Defence Secretary Robert Gates was visiting Iraq, took the military's losses since the 2003 invasion to 3,313, according to Pentagon figures.