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British troops lose out in battle for Basra

Issue No. 2001

The British occupying forces in Basra have all but lost control of the southern Iraqi city. Last weekend saw two more soldiers killed in a roadside bomb attack, bringing the total number of British fatalities in Iraq to 111.

Carol Jones is the mother of British soldier John Jones, who was killed in Basra six months ago, and a supporter of Military Families Against War.

“Two more lads have gone, two more families devastated, two more repatriations, two more funerals. How many more?” she said in response to the latest deaths.

The deaths of British soldiers only show a fraction of the violence and chaos engulfing Basra and the south of Iraq.

Resistance fighters fired over 30 mortar rounds at a British military camp in the Shia city of Amarah on Monday, wounding four soldiers.

British soldiers in Amarah that day were also attacked by a crowd of children throwing stones and bottles.

A journalist working for the Shropshire Star reported how he spent six days “embedded” with soldiers on a base in Basra. The base was attacked about ten times by mortars during his stay, he reported.

Tony Blair’s reaction to this is to dig his heels further into the sand. And George Bush’s threats of a military attack on Iran continue to reverberate.

All of this makes the Stop the War Coalition’s annual conference on Saturday 10 June a vital meeting for every anti-war campaigner in Britain. The conference will take place at Friends House in central London.

Stop the War is also mobilising for a massive protest outside the Labour Party’s annual conference in Manchester on 23 September.

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Sat 20 May 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2001
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