BASRA, Iraq April 12 —
British forces have seized 250 rocket-propelled grenade launchers
and other weapons believed to have been stored for suicide bombers
in Iraq's second-largest city, according to British pool
And along the Iraq-Iran border, British forces flooded the
lawless region amid reports of chemical weapons caches and
underground chambers where prisoners from the last Gulf War 10 years
ago were being held.
Meanwhile, British officers announced Saturday that joint police
patrols British and Iraqi would be installed within a few days to
monitor Basra. And snipers were installed on a hospital roof, while
armored tanks are on guard at several hospitals to protect them from
Soldiers seized 250 rocket-propelled grenade launchers in the
northern part of Basra on Friday, said Maj. Neil Robertshaw of 10
Transport Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps. Explosives and detonators
were recovered at several locations after patrols in the area were
tipped off, British officials told pool reporters.
Robertshaw also said soldiers found a bus parked alongside a
checkpoint with what appeared to be an explosive device inside.
"It actually turned out to be a prank but it shows that there are
still people out there who resent our presence despite the work we
are doing to try to help the local population," Robertshaw said.
Soldiers were told to be on full alert amid fears bombers would
strike in crowded areas. Tanks and armored carriers were escorting
troops delivering water in the city center.
British forces took control of this southern Iraq city last week
and have been trying to maintain order and provide humanitarian aid
Meanwhile, in the city of Al Amara, engineers of the 1st
Battalion Royal Irish were searching for dungeons they feared had
already been entered by men loyal to Saddam Hussein's Baath
"There was an allegation that Iraqi and Kuwaiti prisoners were
brought here from Baghdad when the UN weapons inspectors closed in,"
said Lt. Col. Tim Collins, the commanding officer.
"The head of police has told us that the use of underground
chambers as prisons was standard practice but we fear that if there
were any they will have been flooded to get rid of the
|A crowd, gathered under a giant
mural depicting Saddam Hussein, watch the British 1st
Battalion The Parachute Regiment search a military compound in
Ad Dayr north of Basra, Iraq, Saturday, April 12, 2003. (AP
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