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Iraqi PM denounces 'illegal' UK-led raid on Basra intelligence facilty

[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Monday denounced a weekend raid [JURIST report; UK MOD press release] by UK-led coalition forces and Iraqi soldiers on the local Basra headquarters building of the National Iraqi Intelligence Agency, ordering an investigation into the incident and declaring that those responsible would be punished. A British military spokesman nonetheless defended the legitimacy of the operation, recalling Maliki's own insistence that no one be above the law and saying that the force level use to gain entry to the building was "appropriately robust." The weekend operation uncovered evidence of torture of some thirty prisoners at the facility; coalition forces arrested five persons suspected of death squad activity or links to militant groups. The Telegraph has more.

In late December British troops supported by Iraqi forces raided a Basra prison unit [JURIST report], freeing 127 prisoners detained in squalid conditions by a rogue Basra police squad suspected of torturing its prisoners. British troops raided the same Basra prison [JURIST report] in September 2005 to free two British soldiers who had been captured and detained.

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