Flash traffic - 13 UK troops hurt in Iraq blasts

13 UK troops hurt in Iraq blasts

Thirteen UK soldiers have been injured in two explosions in Basra, Iraq, on Monday, Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram has told MPs.
Early reports suggest that none of the injuries is life-threatening.

Mr Ingram delivered the news at the end of a statement on the deployment of British forces to Kosovo following a series of disturbances there.

"We have received preliminary reports of an incident involving British troops in Basra this morning," he said.
Anyone got any news?
Still no word on the units involved , casualties now at Shaibah.

God, please don't let any of them be badly injured.
We have received preliminary reports of an incident involving British troops in Basra this morning," he said.

According to a Ministry of Defence official in Basra the incident took place at 1045 GMT and is not thought to be related to terrorist groups.

She said that three of the injured were seriously hurt.


The injured have been evacuated to the nearby Shaibah military hospital and their families are being informed.

The Ministry of Defence said the troops had been near a demonstration when they were targeted although there was no indication of a link between that and the explosions.

But Colonel Zafer Abdel-Nabi, chief of Basra customs police, said nine of those injured had been caught in the blast of a grenade thrown by a protester.

He said 500 demonstrators had been protesting at their failure to get jobs with the local customs police.

Demonstrators had thrown rocks, petrol bombs and the grenade at troops, who had used tear gas.

Yassin slogans

Some demonstrators reportedly shouted slogans supporting Saddam Hussein and protesting at Israel's killing of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin in Gaza City.

Witnesses say they chanted: "We are all sons of Yassin."

In the Commons, shadow defence secretary Nicholas Soames asked that MPs be kept informed of any developments, describing the attack as "very anxious news".
i was there

injuries were 14 (plus a load of walking wounded bruises cuts etc), all part of (opsec whoops) battlegroup. dunno if attached callsigns were injured. it was an explosion (not petrol bomb type) although petrol bombs were thrown during the riot. mainly rocks caused injuries. anyone who has been stoned in iraq can tell you how accurate the little buggers are.
Unable to confirm units involved at this stage due to opsec. However, can confirm that we had 14 casualties through Shaibah this afternoon, none of the injuries (penetrating fragments) at this stage appear to be life-threatening.
Due inbound at the hot spot at the start of next month.

Absolutely chuffed that OPTAG didn't see fit to train us in PO using petrol or IEDs/Grens because "they don't get used in theatre"! Always prepared. Remember, 'just enough, just in time', or 'not enough, not in time' is the guiding principle of the ever-strapped modern British Army.

Has it got to the stage where "your TRAINING is made by the lowest bidder"...?
Trg done by lowest bidder definately cynical. Mind you, just got stuff to train police and all it is is a rehash of the Kosovo stuff - suppose it worked out there (or not! - See us goin on Op AGRICOLA 23). Also, v useful as it's in English, we're not policemen and they can't read. Hopefully, I won't have to go there again!!! Ask me in 3 yrs time (Op TELIC 10). 8O

Nice one Govt.

As with everything, "Just enough, just in time" will work. We'll train in theatre!!! At least that will keep our minds off the shits in Shaibh
Do we know the units involved yet? This story appears to have dropped right off the radar in online circles, but I notice the newspaper "That supports our Boys" (Except when there is the merest whiff of a chance to give them a proper kicking)

Front page image here




DO YOU know the British soldier whose head and neck were set alight in the Basra attack? Call The Sun on 020 7782 4105.
You really have excelled yourselves this time :evil:
I quite agree PTP the Sun are really a bunch of pillocks, extremly bad taste and no call for it at all :evil:
Note The Stun does not identify which units are there, although they helpfully say 1LI and RRF are in Basra.
what units are posted where is hardly under wraps these days. I could probably find where most UK units are with a little digging on the net.

In fact if you look at the picture on the front cover of the current bun you can see the red unit flash on the right hand arm of the soldier on fire. So if you want to narrow it down further.......

More importantly. I hope the guys had fire extinguishers and protective equipment with them. If not then it is disgraceful that the lads are going in under equipped - yet again.

Best regards to all out there.
Trotsky said:
Don't the army issue flame proof cloothing for this kind of shindig? Also surely you are issued with hand held fire extinguishers?

Clothing is flame retardent (which is why we don't wear those green trousers that used to melt into your legs anymore). To issue flame proof clothing would require much more thick less comfortable clothing. In the desert heat we would cause more deaths from heat exhaustion than we saved from flames.

If you look closely at the Warriors hand held fire extinguishers are everywhere (particularly on the back door). It is SOP to nominate a fireman in Public Order situations complete with a fire extinguisher - the trick is to get the soldier to stand still long enough to be put out (easier said than done but realistic training helps). If you run; the flames that are only burning on petrol vapour then eat into the clothing and you are really on fire (and in trouble).

None of the injured yesterday were caused by petrol bombs - that was the grenades. Petrol bombs often look more spectacular than they are - ask anyone who has been to NI. They only really get dangerous when the victim is trapped/can't move and they come in volleys rather than ones and twos.
Just thrown a couple of molotov's out of my office window (6th floor), and can confirm that indeed they were spectacular, but didn't do much damage at all. Lot of running about and general panic, though.
Ah well. Back to work.
What an excelent idea.

Just tried it through the window of the dounble decker bus that always stops right outside my window. :D

Stops the nosey civies endlessly watching me at my desk (mostly wasting time looking at aarse rather than any real work).


Book Reviewer
For those who haven't seen (with apologies to those who have)
from Defencenet at



Following the public order disturbances on 22 March we can confirm that the situation in Basrah on 23 March remains calm but tense, and routine patrols of the area continue.
The 14 British soldiers who were injured during the incident were from 16 Battery 26 Regiment Royal Artillery, D Company 1st Battalion Light Infantry and 156 Provost Company RMP.

All are recovering and are reported to be stable. It is probable that some of the injured will be returned to the UK for further treatment but we are unable to provide any further details.

We can, however, confirm that despite the dramatic pictures taken during the incident none of those injured sustained burns injuries.

Major Tim Smith, the military spokesman in Basra, said

“We are obviously pleased that all of those injured in the incident are recovering well. The lack of burns injuries highlights that all our personnel were correctly equipped and trained to deal with this situation.

“While we fully respect the rights of the Iraqi people to demonstrate peacefully, we will not tolerate criminal actions by a small minority. We are working closely with the Iraqi Police to investigate the incident and to try and identify the troublemakers.

“The aim now is to concentrate on returning to normal and allowing the people of Basrah to continue with their lives.”


A total of fourteen British soldiers were injured on 22 March during public order disturbances in Basra.

All those hurt were quickly evacuated to the British military hospital at Shaibah by road or helicopter. None are in a life-threatening condition, although three are described as “seriously injured”.

One soldier was hurt during the initial protests, before an explosive device and a number of petrol bombs detonated close to British troops some time later. Thirteen more soldiers were injured by these devices.

In response to petrol bombs being thrown, British personnel fired a number of baton rounds in self-defence. No live rounds or tear gas were used at any time. There is no evidence that the incident was terrorist related. Investigations are on-going, but at present the attack, which took place at 13:46hrs local time, is being treated as a public order incident.

The demonstrations in Basra City are thought to have centred on demands for further employment opportunities with the new police and security forces. The situation was described as “calm but tense” by early evening.

Major Tim Smith, the British military spokesman in Basra, said:

“Thankfully none of the soldiers is in a life-threatening condition. I want to commend their restraint under enormous pressure in dealing with the situation with the minimum of force.

“There is no evidence whatsoever to link this incident with any other, or with political events elsewhere. We are treating it only as a public order matter.

“Incidents like this are extremely rare in Basra. We have the consent and support of the vast majority of people here and will continue to work with them to improve both security and opportunity for all Iraqis in this region.

“Our priority now is to inform the families of the men who were hurt today, and until we have done so we will not be going into more detail".

Related Links:
Op Telic Web Site


Back to dNet Portal: RLI / SLI


flame-retardent clothing or no I bet the colour of adrenaline was conclusively proven....hang in there guys.
( and don't forget to mention all Israeli helo crews in your prayers)
One particularly noteable point - despite petrol bombs and IEDs being thrown, no live rounds where fired.

I wonder what other Army would have been this tolerant.

Outstanding, outstanding.
Cynical-Subbie said:
Absolutely chuffed that OPTAG didn't see fit to train us in PO using petrol or IEDs/Grens because "they don't get used in theatre"!
...this was (apparently) based on in-theatre advice.

No-one's perfect! :oops: However following these recent events best get your ECW Longjohns, leather gloves and headover on!

Find it hard to believe however that IEDs/Grens didn't feature in your training!
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