Compo for kidnapping Brits then getting their arriss kicked

Britain to pay out over Basra action
By Toby Helm, Chief Political Correspondent
(Filed: 12/10/2005)

The Government is to pay compensation for the injuries and damage caused when the Army stormed an Iraqi police station to release two SAS soldiers.

The move, announced in a joint statement from the British Consulate General, representing the Army, and the Provincial Council of Basra, was intended to reduce tensions ahead of a referendum on the new constitution later this month and elections in December.

The prison compound in Basra was extensively damaged when it was stormed by the British Army

Although John Reid, the Defence Secretary, told MPs on Monday that he had "fully supported" the decision to enter the police station after it became clear the soldiers had been handed over to local militia, the statement expressed "regret" at what had happened.

"We also regret the casualties on both sides and the material damage to public facilities," the statement said. "The British Government is prepared to pay valid claims for compensation for casualties and material damage in the well-established manner."

It expressed full support for the "dignity of the institutions and people of the Governorate of Basra and the sovereignty of Iraq" and said "those connected to the events" would be dealt with in accordance with the legislation of the former Coalition Provisional Authority.

"This incident and other shooting incidents are subject to stringent official review. We hope to avoid a repetition of such incidents."

Immediately after the incident on Sept 19, the Governor, Mohammed al-Waili, condemned the British action as "barbaric" and said he would end co-operation with UK forces unless he received an apology.

An Iraqi judge also issued an arrest warrant for the two undercover SAS men following allegations by Iraqi officials that they opened fire after being stopped by a police patrol.

The Iraqis say several local people were killed and injured when a mob surrounded British troops outside the police station where the two men were taken, setting fire to one of their Warrior armoured vehicles. British officials have said that there are no confirmed figures for the dead and injured

Makes you wonder who's side we're on :evil:

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