Well this one doesn’t look too good, especially when there was already suspicion about some of the insurgent and car bomb attacks. The massive jail break didn’t help the cause either.
Iraqi police detain two British soldiers in Basra
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.
He added that the two were being interrogated in the police headquarters of Basra.
The British forces informed the Iraqi authorities that the two soldiers were performing an official duty, the source said. British military authorities said they could not confirm the incident but investigations were underway.
‘Undercover’ Britons held after Basra shootings
19 September 2005
British forces and demonstrators exchanged gunfire in the southern city of Basra today after two British men were arrested for allegedly shooting at local security forces, killing one policeman and wounding another.
The day that Iraqi anger exploded in the face of the British occupiers
20 September 2005
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.
… 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.
British Soldiers Free Two from Basra Jail
The Associated Press
19 September 2005
Basra, Iraq - In a major show of force, British soldiers used tanks to break down the walls of the central jail in this southern city late Monday and freed two Britons, allegedly undercover commandos, who had been arrested on charges of shooting two Iraqi policemen.