Gilbert Achcar writes:

"The office of Muqtada al-Sadr published tonight (Sept 19) the following press release that I have translated from Arabic FYI. It is — of course, one might say — in full contradiction with the official version of the British Ministry of Defence."

Statement of the Office of Muqtada al-Sadr

"Two soldiers from the British occupation forces opened fire on passers-by in the vicinity of a religious center where the people of Basra use to go, after which police patrols have a white car and arrested two persons riding it. It was found that they are British, and British occupation forces intervened to try to set them free. The people of Basra demonstrated to prevent this from occurring, and occupation forces reacted by opening fire on the demonstrators killing and wounding many of them. In retaliation the inhabitants burned two British tanks. The two Britons that were arrested had in their possession explosives and remote-control devices, as well as light and medium weapons and other accessories.

Late this night, British forces raided the police headquarters of the Basra province, set free the two Britons as well as close to 150 terrorists, and burned the police vehicles."