British forces tighten grip around Basra

British forces have tightened their grip around Iraq's second largest city, Basra, after another foray into the enemy stronghold today.

Journalists embedded with the British vanguard report that the Desert Rats and elements of the Irish Guards advanced to four miles of the city's centre following the operation.

There was a sharp encounter with Iraqi defenders and the advancing force was attacked with grenades and smalls arms fire. However, the British overcame the resistance and later withdrew with 12 Iraqi army prisoners.

Elsewhere, five people have been killed in a suspected suicide bomb attack in southern Iraq.

Three Coalition soldiers were manning a checkpoint last night when a civilian vehicle approached. A woman reportedly got out of the vehicle and began screaming, before the explosion occurred. Five bodies have been recovered, although it is not yet clear what nationality the deceased were.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

05 May 2004
Troops inquiry must 'take its course,' says Minister
The Armed Forces Minister has said that inquiry into the alleged conduct of some British Troops in Iraq must be allowed to "take its course".
25 August 2005
British man killed in Jerusalem stabbing
A British man has been stabbed to death in Jerusalem, the Foreign Office has confirmed. The man, who has not been named, is understood to be a Jewish student. A fellow student was reported to have been injured in the incident.
15 June 2005
NAO report raises concerns over readiness of British forces
The Government has come under fire today on the publication of a National Audit Office report revealing that over one third of British armed forces are not prepared for action.
15 March 2010
Tracker Successfully Tackles Car Thieves
The UK leader in stolen vehicle tracking, Tracker has highlighted the growing problem with criminals exploiting loopholes in the shipping industry, which allows them to export stolen vehicles via the docks.
17 June 2014
British Social Attitudes Report: 'True British' Must Speak English
The 31st NatCen Social Research British Social Attitudes survey of 3,000 people shows UK citizens have harder attitudes over immigration, welfare or the requirements which make a person British. 95% of them found that it is important to speak English to be "truly" British, up from a 86% in 2003.