Basra, Iraq raid by UK forces to rescue soldiers from police

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

UK forces have raided an Iraqi police station and a house in Basra to retrieve two British soldiers who had been arrested by Iraqi police forces. Later media reports say 'the soldiers were found not to be at the police station. Based on received intelligence a house was then stormed; the soldiers were found being held by "local militia".'

The identities of the two soldiers are unknown, but it is known they were special forces working in "plain clothes", dressed as Iraqis and wearing dark wigs. The incident has been accompanied by petrol bomb attacks on British armoured vehicles and stones being thrown at the soldiers as they evacuated the vehicles due to fears of "exploding ammunition", according to more recent media. Associated Press has reported that about 150 prisoners are believed to have escaped as the result of the raids, although the higher Iraqi authorities hold that this is not true.

It is not clear precisely what the rescued soldiers were being held for, besides a possible covert attempt to plant a carbomb, as the Sept. 19th article listed below declares the 2 "were using a civilian car packed with explosives" while disguised as Iraqis wearing Arab uniforms. Many news sources have reported that the men were working undercover for British forces. Iraqi authorities report that the men had opened fire on police, killing one officer and wounding another. The Washington Post article tells of the Iraqi Police calling for locals to come help hold the soldiers so as the situation may be investigated. Three hours later, the 2 were broken out of an allied jail by force. It is too early to determine the truth of any of these claims yet, but it is certain to have ramifications for the peace process as well as global affairs.

The constant manipulation of this story as it progresses is undeniable.

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