BBC News – UK soldiers ‘storm’ Basra prison
Yahoo News: Brits Use Tanks in Jailbreak.

Contrary statement from Governor of Basra ::
“Act of barbaric aggression”.

“UK Soldiers Have Been Released” Min of Defence
The official statement from the British Ministery of Defence (MoD) has just been read on BBC News:
After negotiations with local authorities …
A wall may have been knocked down …

Update [2005-9-21 10:59:51 by Oui]:

Basra Citizens and Police Rally to Denounce British Aggression

BAGHDAD, Iraq Sept. 21 — About 500 civilians and policemen rallied today in Basra and denounced “British aggression” following London’s decision to use force to free two of its soldiers being held by Iraqi police.

The demonstrators in Basra, which included police and civilians waving pistols and AK47s, shouted “No to occupation!” and carried banners condemning “British aggression and demanding the freed soldiers be tried in an Iraqi court as “terrorists.”

  «« click on pic for more photos
An Iraqi policemen holds up a pistol during a protest in Basra, Iraq, in which about 500 people demanded an apology for attack by British forces on the jail were two British nationals were captive.   AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani

Clashes between British forces and Iraqi police have killed five civilians, including two who died of their injuries Wednesday in a hospital.

Interior Minister Bayan Jabr disputed the British version of events. He told the BBC the two soldiers never left police custody or the jail, were not handed to militants, and that the British army acted on a “rumor” when it stormed the jail.

After British armored vehicles stormed the jail to free two commandos, National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie said the operation was “a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.”

More to follow below the fold »»


Two British citizens detained by Iraqi police sit in a police lockup in the southern port city of Basra. REUTERS/Atef Hassan

Iraqi police have detained two British soldiers in the southern port city of Basra

BAGHDAD (AFP) 10 minutes ago – Iraqi police have detained two British soldiers in the southern port city of Basra, following a shooting incident.

One Basra policeman said the two men who were detained were undercover soldiers, wearing Arab costume, and carrying explosives, allegedly fired at a police patrol before being forced to stop.

“We can confirm that the Iraqi authorities are holding two UK service personnel and we are liaising with the Iraqi authorities on this matter,” a British military spokesman told AFP by telephone from Basra.

A combo shows two British soldiers detained by Iraqi police sitting in a police station in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Iraqi police have detained two British soldiers in the southern town of Basra, a British military spokesman said. British troops used force to gain the release of two of their comrades arrested earlier in the day by Iraqi police, a source at the Iraqi defense ministry told AFP.   AFP/Essam al-Sudani

British forces on Monday surrounded a police station in the centre of Basra after Iraqi police refused to release the two men, an AFP photographer at the scene said Monday.

  «« click on pic to enlarge
Iraqi protesters throw stones at British soldiers during clashes in Basra. Iraqi police have detained two British soldiers in the southern port city of Basra, following a shooting incident.  AFP/Essam Al-Sudani

The British forces were themselves surrounded by demonstrators, who threw stones; and British soldiers fired warning shots, he said. Demonstrators then set fire to two British tanks. British soldiers jumped from the tanks and withdrew without returning fire.

It was not immediately known if there were any injuries.

  «« click on pic for more images

Iraqis throw stones during clashes with British forces, seen in background, in Basra, 550 km (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad. In Basra, British forces and demonstrators exchanged gunfire in the southern city of Basra after two British men were arrested for allegedly shooting at local security forces, killing one policeman and wounding another, authorities and witnesses said today.   AP Photo / Nabil al-Jurani

Militia Muqtada al Sadr – Jaish al Mahdi

There is some infiltration of local government in Basra – and rest of Southern Iraq – by Muqtada al Sadr forces.

The UK MoD does speak of SCIRI police handing over the two UK agents to local militants. This was the moment the decision was made, to take the UK men out by force.

  • The Independent
  • British Press
  • British Forces Are Losing Basra!   [Posted on Sept. 8, 2005]

    BBC News – Car bomb attack kills 16 in Basra
    Although focused on the tragedy and thousands of American lives lost on Gulf Coast, the Iraq War has worsened this week in the region of Basra.

    The explosion took place on Wednesday evening outside a restaurant near the city centre which was packed with members of the Iraqi security forces. It was the worst car bombing in Basra since the US-led invasion in 2003.

    The attack follows the killing of four US security guards and two British soldiers in separate incidents near Basra earlier this week.

    Basra Blasts Kill 4 U.S. Contractors, 13 Others
    Virginia-based security guards die in attack on convoy. A second bomb explodes on busy street.

    BASRA Sept. 8, 2005 — Two bomb blasts shook the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Wednesday, killing at least 17 people, including four American security contractors traveling in a U.S. diplomatic convoy.

    The first attack came in the morning, when a makeshift bomb was detonated as the U.S. convoy was traveling in the city, according to a statement by U.S. Embassy spokesman Peter Mitchell in Baghdad.

    An armed Westerner and Iraqi policemen and soldiers secure the scene after a convoy was hit by a roadside bomb in the southern Iraq city of Basra. A car bomb shattered the relative peace of the southern Iraqi city of Basra after dark on Wednesday, killing 12 people and wounding 22 in a district packed with restaurants and a market, hospital sources said. A Reuters journalist saw at least five bodies at a local hospital.   Atef Hassan/Reuters

  • Bomb Kills 16 Civilians In Peaceful Basra
  • Two British Soldiers Killed by IED in Basra Named
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