Iraq: occupation troops raid secret prison in Basra

Hmmm, didn’t the Brits just invoke “progress” in Basra to justify their planned withdrawal? From Arab Monitor, March 5:

BAGHDAD – In a move to end their Iraqi allies’ uncontrolled violence, US and British troops began yesterday to venture into Shiite militia strongholds in Baghdad and Basra. In Basra, British troops are reported to have found some 30 prisoners held in an unaccounted-for prison. Prime Minister Nouri al-Malki hurried to condemn the raid on what he called the Basra security compound and ordered an immediate investigation “to punish those who carried out this illegal and irresponsible act”, as voiced out by an official statement released by his office. A woman and her two children are reported to have been found among the prisoners discovered in the Basra facility. The British military command declined to give information about the fate of these captives.

The New York Times reports March 5 that some of the captives showed signs of torture—a fact overshadowed by that day’s suicide bombing that killed 20 in Baghdad’s historic book-sellers district.

See our last posts on Iraq, the sectarian cleansing and the struggle in Basra.