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Mohammed al Waili, the governor of the province, said the British raid was "barbaric, savage and irresponsible".
"A British force of more than 10 tanks backed by helicopters attacked the central jail and destroyed it," he said.
"This is an irresponsible act."
He added that the British force had spirited the prisoners away to an unknown location.
MoD officials insist they have been talking to the Iraqi authorities to secure the release of the men - who were reported to be working undercover.
But they do acknowledge a wall was demolished as UK forces tried to "collect" the men Iraqi police accused of firing on them.
BAGHDAD, Sept. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- Iraqi police detained two British soldiers in civilian clothes in the southern city Basra for firing on a police station
on Monday, police said.
"Two persons wearing Arab uniforms opened fire at a police station in Basra. A police patrol followed the attackers and captured them to discover they
were two British soldiers," an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua.
The two soldiers were using a civilian car packed with explosives, the source said.
quote: UK may increase Iraq deployment
From correspondents in London
September 19, 2005
Britain said overnight it would, if necessary, increase the number of troops in Iraq as fears that the country is sliding towards civil war increase.
Originally posted by Zaphod58
Funny how they managed to not kill a single person when they opened fire on the market. Now either they're really bad marksmen that couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, they didn't open fire, or they did and were intentionally trying not to kill anyone.
The point of trying to start a civil war would be? The Iraqi government already has said they want US troops to stay. They want to cut the numbers down, but they want them to stay for at least the next several years. So it can't be for the troops to stay. It certainly wouldn't be to settle things down so that some of the troops can come home. So what's the purpose of trying to start a civil war?
Originally posted by Zaphod58
I'm talking about the ORIGINAL TWO that were arrested. Supposedly they drove up to a very crowded market and opened fire, and DIDN'T KILL A SINGLE PERSON.
From an IRAQI official. Not one of the stories says anything about a police officer being killed by them. It says they shot at a police station, and shot two police officers, but nothing about any fatalities.
1--Helicopter hovering above the area. Security measures. Police station.
A car did not obey the "stop" order at the police checkpoint in Emin Dahili of Basra on Monday morning and responded to the police by firing. The car could only be stopped by some more police cars.
The two British soldiers were dressed like Arabs and waved a British flag from the car and asked the police not to fire.
Originally posted by Syrian Sister
"The point of trying to start a civil war would be?"
The following are the points:
Divide and conquer - Get iraqies to start fighting each other instead of fighting the occupation. This will creat more opportunists vying for power, to collaborate with the occupiers.
Defame the Resistance- The US learned from vietnamn that a gorrilla army can only exist with a good civilian support base. These bombings are designed to get the iraqi people to distrust and dislike the iraqi resistance, and hence that would destroy the resistance.
Create a reason to stay - The brits and the US can now claim that they need to be in iraq longer to "protect the civilian population." ironically the people who they are killing.