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  • Brit rescue of soldiers cause uproar in Iraq

    No idea what to make of this ...

    Iraq denounces British rescue in Basra By Alaa Habib
    20 minutes ago

    BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq denounced British forces on Tuesday over a dramatic rescue of two undercover soldiers that could stoke hostility toward foreign troops in increasingly volatile southern Iraq.

    British troops used an armored fighting vehicle on Monday to burst into an Iraqi jail in search of soldiers held by police in Basra. The British commander said he learned they had been handed to militia and ordered their rescue from a nearby house.

    "It is a very unfortunate development that the British forces should try to release their forces the way it happened," Haider al-Ebadi, an adviser to Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, told a news conference in Baghdad.

    The operation followed rioting that began, according to police and local officials, when the two soldiers fired on a police patrol. At least two Iraqis were killed in the violence.

    Southern Iraq is home to several Shi'ite militias, including one loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who fiercely opposes the presence of foreign troops and has led uprisings against the U.S. military.

    Many Iraqis say the heavily-armed militias act with impunity and are not answerable to the central government.

    Tensions in Basra had risen on Sunday when British forces arrested two leading members of Sadr's Mehdi Army militia.

    The tough British response will further strain ties between Iraqis and British troops, who had maintained relatively good relations with the Shi'ite population of Basra by pursuing a low-profile security policy, in contrast to tougher U.S. tactics.

    Britain, which has 8,500 troops in Iraq, said on Sunday it would send more if necessary. But a leaked memo signed by Defense Secretary John Reid in July envisioned bringing most of them home over the next year.

    British soldiers have faced less popular anger in Iraq than their U.S. allies, but Iraqi police vented their fury in Basra as they inspected damage from the British raid.

    "Four tanks invaded the area. A tank cannon struck a room where a policeman was praying," said policeman Abbas Hassan, standing next to mangled cars outside the police station and jail that he said were crushed by British military vehicles.

    "This is terrorism. All we had was rifles."

    Photographs of a burning soldier being pelted as he climbed out of a tank in Basra were splashed across British newspapers.

    In Iraq, state television footage showed the two soldiers unshaven and looking nervous as Iraqi police looked over wigs, Arab headresses, an anti-tank missile and communications equipment, all apparently used in their mission.

    Images of the pair seemed sure to fuel suspicions by militias in Basra and elsewhere who believe foreign troops are on a secret mission to exploit Iraq.

    Unrest in the Shi'ite south, home to Iraq's biggest oil reserves, would pile pressure on the Iraqi government, which is already fighting a Sunni Arab insurgency further north and had hoped the south would remain relatively calm.

    Residents of Basra urged British troops to leave Iraq.

    "It is inappropriate for any Iraqi to be insulted by a British or an American or any other occupier, we reject the occupying forces," said Abbas Jassim.

    "The British violated the government, police and the sons of this country, which we all reject."

    British forces said the soldiers were in danger.

    "From an early stage I had good reason to believe the lives of the two soldiers were at risk," Brigadier John Lorimer, the British commander in Basra, said in a statement.

    SUSPICIOUS Behavior

    Ebadi said Iraqi security forces were justified in detaining the pair.

    "They were acting very suspiciously like they were watching something and collecting information in civilian clothes in these tense times," he said.

    The raid could boost the popularity of Shi'ite cleric Sadr, who can mobilize thousands of supporters quickly.

    "What the two Britons did was literally international terrorism," Ali al-Yassiri, an aide to Sadr, told Reuters.

    "If the British had condemned this, it would have calmed the situation but instead they came and demanded them back which sets a dangerous precedent."

    Britain's Reid said the two soldiers were freed when negotiations appeared blocked.

    "In the course of the day we became increasingly worried that those people in there to negotiate with the police seemed to be having no success in getting our men out," he said.

    Reid said it was not clear whether the Iraqi police were under threat themselves or colluding with local militia.

    Lorimer said troops had been sent to the police station where the two men had been detained to help ensure their safety.

    "As shown on television, these troops were attacked with firebombs and rockets by a violent and determined crowd."

    Elsewhere in Iraq, violence continued in areas controlled by U.S. forces.

    Four U.S. soldiers were killed by roadside bombs, the U.S. military said on Tuesday, bringing the number of American soldiers to die in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion to 1,906.
    Dude. Can. Fly.

  • #3
    Not Safe for the Squeamish

    Moon

    Comment


    • #4
      We are different than Saddam........................
      Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

      Comment


      • #5
        QUOTE
        Published on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 by The Independent / UK
        The Day That Iraqi Anger Exploded in the Face of the British Occupiers
        by Helen McCormack

        The dramatic events began to unfold just before dawn yesterday, when two British nationals were detained by Iraqi authorities. It emerged later that they were British soldiers. Dressed in plain clothes - according to some they were wearing traditional Arab dress - the two men had been driving in an unmarked car when they arrived at a checkpoint in the city.

        In the confrontation that followed, shots were fired, and two Iraqi policemen were shot, one of whom later died. The Iraqi authorities blamed the men, reported to be undercover commandos, and arrested them.

        Mohammed al-Abadi, an official in the Basra governorate said that the two men had looked suspicious to police. "A policeman approached them and then one of these guys fired at him. Then the police managed to capture them," he said.

        "They refused to say what their mission was. They said they were British soldiers and [suggested they] ask their commander about their mission," he added.

        The Britons were taken to an Iraqi police station, with local officials saying they had been informed that the men were undercover soldiers wearing plainclothes. British military officials, both in London and Iraq, began to investigate the arrests.

        As a behind-the-scenes operation by British diplomats charged with negotiating a release for the soldiers started, tension spread across the city, where 8,500 British troops are based. A British army tank was surrounded.

        In a clear demonstration that the holding of the soldiers would not be tolerated, tanks moved quickly to encircle the police station. Amid the confusion, a crowd initially of about a dozen, which later swelled to hundreds, soon surrounded the tanks.

        Some said it was because the news had spread that British soldiers had been responsible for the death of an Iraqi policeman. One witness said Iraqis were driving through the streets with loudhailers demanding that the soldiers should be kept in the police station, and then jailed.

        Violence began to break out in the streets near to the prison. As tempers flared, rocks were thrown, and the soldiers began to fear that they could no longer contain the situation. What looked like petrol bombs began to fly through the air, and television footage recorded one tank attempting to reverse away from the growing mob as the crowds around the tanks tightened their grip.

        Then, flames emerged from the top of one of the tanks. It remained unclear whether it was the vehicle itself on fire, or whether the flames were emerging from military equipment placed on the back of the tank.

        One soldier decided to jump. His uniform on fire, the television footage shows him attempting to make his escape, as the crowd pelts him with stones. Another soldier carrying a riot shield stood by the tank. Last night the condition of the soldier was not known.

        In the rioting that ensued, British control of the city, in the Shia-dominated south of Iraq, began to look seriously under threat. Two Iraqis were reported dead in the rioting, with 15 Iraqis reported injured, along with three British soldiers.

        Meanwhile, frantic negotiations continued to free the men, whose arrest had sent Basra into near anarchy within the space of less than two hours.

        Images of the men in captivity were available after television cameramen from Arab satellite broadcasters in the Persian Gulf were allowed in to the jail. Seated on the floor of what looked like a prison cell, their hands tied behind their backs, the men stared directly into the camera lens.

        Their clothes - plain T-shirts and chinos - were spattered with blood. One had a bandage wrapped around his head, the other also had a head injury, which had been dressed.

        The television commentary, in Arabic, identified them only as Britons. A provincial council spokesman for Basra, Nnadhim al-Jabari, confirmed that they were likely to go before an Iraqi court.

        Calm then descended on the city. In London, the Ministry of Defence would give no details about the talks aimed at securing the men, a spokesman saying only that they were continuing "to thrash out with Iraqi authorities what is happening and what can be done".

        Then, just before midday, a solution of sorts appeared to have been found. Reports coming out of Basra described how up to ten British tanks, possibly Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks, possibly Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles, had stormed the jail where the two men were being held.

        Witnesses said that they had smashed down a wall to gain entry. The operation was said to be backed up by helicopters. The witnesses said that up to 150 prisoners took the opportunity to escape through the wall in the confusion.

        The British military action was condemned as "barbaric, savage and irresponsible" by Mohammed al-Waili, the governor of the province. "A British force of more than 10 tanks backed by helicopters attacked the central jail and destroyed it. This is an irresponsible act," the governor said.

        The Ministry of Defence in London confirmed that the soldiers had been released, but said that had been achieved by "negotiation". Its explanation is unlikely to assuage the anger on the streets of the southern Iraqi city, which has so far been relatively calm compared with the daily violence that has scarred much of the rest of the country.

        As an uneasy peace was maintained in the city last night, all the indications were that yesterday's violence could be repeated today.

        © 2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.

        ###[/b][/quote]
        Damn these electric sex pants!

        26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

        Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

        Comment


        • #6
          QUOTE(dredbyrd @ Sep 20 2005, 06:00 PM) Quoted post

          QUOTE
          Published on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 by The Independent / UK
          The Day That Iraqi Anger Exploded in the Face of the British Occupiers
          by Helen McCormack

          The dramatic events began to unfold just before dawn yesterday, when two British nationals were detained by Iraqi authorities. It emerged later that they were British soldiers. Dressed in plain clothes - according to some they were wearing traditional Arab dress - the two men had been driving in an unmarked car when they arrived at a checkpoint in the city.

          In the confrontation that followed, shots were fired, and two Iraqi policemen were shot, one of whom later died. The Iraqi authorities blamed the men, reported to be undercover commandos, and arrested them.

          Mohammed al-Abadi, an official in the Basra governorate said that the two men had looked suspicious to police. "A policeman approached them and then one of these guys fired at him. Then the police managed to capture them," he said.

          "They refused to say what their mission was. They said they were British soldiers and [suggested they] ask their commander about their mission," he added.

          The Britons were taken to an Iraqi police station, with local officials saying they had been informed that the men were undercover soldiers wearing plainclothes. British military officials, both in London and Iraq, began to investigate the arrests.

          As a behind-the-scenes operation by British diplomats charged with negotiating a release for the soldiers started, tension spread across the city, where 8,500 British troops are based. A British army tank was surrounded.

          In a clear demonstration that the holding of the soldiers would not be tolerated, tanks moved quickly to encircle the police station. Amid the confusion, a crowd initially of about a dozen, which later swelled to hundreds, soon surrounded the tanks.

          Some said it was because the news had spread that British soldiers had been responsible for the death of an Iraqi policeman. One witness said Iraqis were driving through the streets with loudhailers demanding that the soldiers should be kept in the police station, and then jailed.

          Violence began to break out in the streets near to the prison. As tempers flared, rocks were thrown, and the soldiers began to fear that they could no longer contain the situation. What looked like petrol bombs began to fly through the air, and television footage recorded one tank attempting to reverse away from the growing mob as the crowds around the tanks tightened their grip.

          Then, flames emerged from the top of one of the tanks. It remained unclear whether it was the vehicle itself on fire, or whether the flames were emerging from military equipment placed on the back of the tank.

          One soldier decided to jump. His uniform on fire, the television footage shows him attempting to make his escape, as the crowd pelts him with stones. Another soldier carrying a riot shield stood by the tank. Last night the condition of the soldier was not known.

          In the rioting that ensued, British control of the city, in the Shia-dominated south of Iraq, began to look seriously under threat. Two Iraqis were reported dead in the rioting, with 15 Iraqis reported injured, along with three British soldiers.

          Meanwhile, frantic negotiations continued to free the men, whose arrest had sent Basra into near anarchy within the space of less than two hours.

          Images of the men in captivity were available after television cameramen from Arab satellite broadcasters in the Persian Gulf were allowed in to the jail. Seated on the floor of what looked like a prison cell, their hands tied behind their backs, the men stared directly into the camera lens.

          Their clothes - plain T-shirts and chinos - were spattered with blood. One had a bandage wrapped around his head, the other also had a head injury, which had been dressed.

          The television commentary, in Arabic, identified them only as Britons. A provincial council spokesman for Basra, Nnadhim al-Jabari, confirmed that they were likely to go before an Iraqi court.

          Calm then descended on the city. In London, the Ministry of Defence would give no details about the talks aimed at securing the men, a spokesman saying only that they were continuing "to thrash out with Iraqi authorities what is happening and what can be done".

          Then, just before midday, a solution of sorts appeared to have been found. Reports coming out of Basra described how up to ten British tanks, possibly Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks, possibly Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles, had stormed the jail where the two men were being held.

          Witnesses said that they had smashed down a wall to gain entry. The operation was said to be backed up by helicopters. The witnesses said that up to 150 prisoners took the opportunity to escape through the wall in the confusion.

          The British military action was condemned as "barbaric, savage and irresponsible" by Mohammed al-Waili, the governor of the province. "A British force of more than 10 tanks backed by helicopters attacked the central jail and destroyed it. This is an irresponsible act," the governor said.

          The Ministry of Defence in London confirmed that the soldiers had been released, but said that had been achieved by "negotiation". Its explanation is unlikely to assuage the anger on the streets of the southern Iraqi city, which has so far been relatively calm compared with the daily violence that has scarred much of the rest of the country.

          As an uneasy peace was maintained in the city last night, all the indications were that yesterday's violence could be repeated today.

          © 2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.

          ###[/b][/quote]
          [/b][/quote]


          what a clusterfuck.

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