Thursday, September 22, 2005

Basra's governor withdraws all co-operation.

Michael Settle, in The Herald, 22 September 2005, reported that the 'angry Basra governor has demanded a UK apology' over the attack on the jail.

According to The Herald:

Basra's governor has withdrawn all co-operation with UK forces until the British government apologises for the clashes between its troops and Iraqi police.

The governor and his council voted to "stop dealing with British forces in Basra and not to co-operate with them because of their irresponsible aggression on a government facility".

The council demanded that Britain should apologise to local citizens and police and provide compensation for the families of people killed or wounded.

It said five died on Monday when the British Army stormed Jamiat jail to rescue two undercover soldiers.

The army said the men were handed to a militia group by police. Bayan Jabor, Iraqi interior minister, denied this and told the BBC the men had never left police custody.

Basra's governor, Mr al Waili said: "The British troops should stop these barbarian and illegal actions. I support boycotting the British troops and stopping all the co-operation with them until our demands are met."

There ,was an angry protest by about 500 police and civilians who marched through Basra to the jail, calling for the city police chief to be sacked and for the British "terrorists" to be returned to Iraqi jurisdiction.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former foreign secretary and a contender for the Tory leadership, argued Iraq had become a bigger disaster than Vietnam. "This is the most serious foreign policy disaster for the United Kingdom in the last 60 years. Suez, in comparison, was pretty modest."


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