Sunday, August 10, 2003

Until recently the British troops in southern Iraq have managed to escape much of the public anger faced by their American counterparts.

No longer.

It's hardly surprising that trouble is now flaring in Basra. Four months after Saddam was toppled, and with temperatures hitting 50 degrees, the coalition is still struggling to provide basic services such as electricity and fuel.

Significantly, the protests don't appear to be part of an orchestrated campaign of resistance but have been sparked instead by a growing popular mood of discontent. "They did not give us what they promised, and we have had enough of waiting," said one protestor.

Unless the British troops get a grip on the infrastructure problems, the demonstrations are certain to grow.


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