Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Horror 

Following orders from Colonel Kurtz?
British armored vehicle escorted by a tank crashed into a detention center Monday in Basra and rescued two undercover troops held by police, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official told CNN.

British Defense Ministry Secretary John Reid confirmed two British military personnel were "released," but he gave no details on how they were freed.

In a statement released in London, Reid did not say why the two had been taken into custody. But the Iraqi official, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity, said their arrests stemmed from an incident earlier in the day.

The official said two unknown gunmen in full Arabic dress began firing on civilians in central Basra, wounding several, including a traffic police officer. There were no fatalities, the official said.

The two gunmen fled the scene but were captured and taken in for questioning, admitting they were British marines carrying out a "special security task," the official said.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about this.

Update 9/20/05 9:41AM:
So it appears that the British soldiers probably didn't go "off the reservation", and were actually involved in a mission that may have gotten out of control. Check out Juan Cole's timeline, for an idea of what may have transpired.


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