Wednesday | June 25, 2003
Mob killed British soldiers
UK troops 'killed by civilians'
After following the soldiers to the police station, the Iraqis say the British fired the first shots on a peaceful demonstration. This provoked the Iraqis to fire back and storm the police station in anger, Clive Myrie said.
"Scores of people attacked the police station, not just four or five, not just a dozen, so it may be difficult to point the finger of blame," he added.
Lieutenant Colonel Ronnie McCourt told Reuters news agency: "This attack was unprovoked. It was murder
Townspeople were furious over the deaths of the four civilians during yesterday's protest. The demonstration, the second in two days, had apparently been sparked by soldiers' searches for heavy weapons in villagers' homes, Abu Zahraa, a 30-year-old local vendor, said.
"This angered the people, because they went into women's rooms," Mr Zahraa explained. "The people considered it an invasion of privacy."
The attacks, near Amara north of Basra, were the first serious confrontation in the Shia south, controlled by the British, and Iraqis, in contrast to the Sunni north and central areas of the country, where the American occupying forces have faced constant attacks.
Even under Saddam Hussein, Amara was a notoriously dangerous area. There were frequent attacks by bandits on the Baghdad-Basra road. It was also a centre of resistance to Saddam who never entirely controlled the area.
The Brits have now given the locals 48 hours to turn over the killers.
Saddam had so little success controlling this region, he drained the marshes. I seriously doubt the British scare these people especially when a guerrilla army lies close by.
Considering that an armed mob killed the soldiers, exactly who would be turned over? What are the British going to do? Take 50 hostages and shoot them if the killers aren't turned out? Search more homes? Bulldoze a few?
Saddam resorted to genocide and couldn't control these people. He drained the marshes, destroying an area some believe was the original site of the garden of eden.
I doubt the Commons would call for the return of the poison gas bombers to control Southern Iraq. Besides, it didn't work in 1925, didn't work in the 1980's and wouldn't work now.
Short of blowing the town off the face of the earth and killing the residents, no one is going anywhere.
Posted June 25, 2003 07:48 AM | Comments (65)