Two British soldiers murdered by Iraqi intelligence agents were ambushed on the same road where broadcaster Terry Lloyd had been killed only a day earlier.

The ITN journalist was caught in crossfire between Iraqi and US forces on March 22, 2003. The 51-year-old was on the same route to Basra as used by Staff Sergeant Cullingworth and Sapper Luke Allsopp when they were attacked on March 23, 2003.

Yesterday the Oxford coroner branded the route "extremely dangerous" and said Army chiefs would have known of Mr Lloyd's death the day before when the men were given their orders on which route to use. The court heard that the two soldiers could have been told to skirt around the town of Al Zubayr but instead were ordered to go through the outskirts.

Tragically they took a wrong turn and ended up driving straight through the town. They were attacked with a rocket-propelled grenade on the same road where Mr Lloyd died the day previously.

The inquest into the veteran broadcaster's death begins today at the same court where the soldiers' inquest was held yesterday.

He was killed while working for ITN just days into the conflict. French cameraman Fred Nerac is still officially classed as missing. The remains of Lebanese translator Hussein Osman were found and buried.

Returning verdicts of unlawful killing on Sapper Allsopp, aged 24, from London, and Staff Sgt Cullingworth, 36, from Essex, the coroner Andrew Walker said the "failure to adequately plan for and warn of the dangers was, in my view, a contributory factor to their deaths".

He added: "If the proper procedures had been followed then no-one should have been allowed to use that route.

Headquarters knew that it was a dangerous area and they were advising people not to go near that area on the 23rd.