Four British troops were killed on Thursday in a roadside bomb blast in Iraq. The explosion, which also left an Iraqi interpreter dead, occurred in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.
Six British soldiers have now been killed in Iraq since Sunday, making it one of the deadliest weeks for British forces since the 2003 invasion.
The four soldiers and their interpreter were killed as their convoy drove through Hayaniya, a Shi'ite stronghold in north-west Basra. Another British soldier was seriously wounded. One resident said he saw at least one armoured vehicle on fire and a second one damaged.
In Baghdad, the US military announced six soldiers had been killed over the past two days. Five soldiers were killed on Wednesday -- four by roadside bombs in southern Baghdad and north of the capital.
Meanwhile, a U.S. helicopter went down after coming under fire Thursday in a Sunni stronghold south of Baghdad, an Iraqi army official said. According to the AP, gunmen opened fire on a Black Hawk helicopter at about 7:30 a.m. as it flew over Latifiyah, 20 miles south of Baghdad, the official said.
The helicopter went down in a rural area and American forces had cordoned off the site, the official said. The US Army confirmed four servicemen were injured.
With Thursday's incident, at least nine U.S. helicopters have crashed or been brought down by hostile fire this year in Iraq.