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100th Iraq fatality prompts protests in UK

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Jan 31, IRNA
UK Troop Deaths-Iraq
'Stop the War Coalition' Tuesday called for nationwide protests against the Iraq war following the announcement of the 100th British troop fatality.

"100 is a sadly significant statistic for this country, to be added to the in excess of 100,000 other victims of (Prime Minister) Tony Blair's 'blood price' -- Iraqis, Americans, British and others," the peace campaign network said.

It called for stopping 'this madness now before these Bush/Blair wars spread any further'.

Londoners were urged go to Parliament Square on Tuesday evening for a 'name the dead' memorial, while anti-war protesters elsewhere were called upon to attend demonstrations and vigils across the country.

The protests came after the Defense Ministry announced that a soldier from the 7th Armored Brigade in Basra had become the 100th British troop fatality since the start of the Iraq war in 2003.

It followed the death of L/Cpl Allan Douglas, 22, who was shot and killed in Maysan province on Monday that prompted protests from his mother.

Diane Douglas said it was a 'damn disgrace' that young people were being killed in Iraq. "I don't think Tony Blair should have put any young kids out there," she told the BBC.

At his daily press briefing Tuesday, the British prime minister's official spokesman said that he was 'deeply saddened' by the latest death, saying that 'no life was worth the sacrifice'.

But he insisted that the some 8,500 British troops in Iraq would 'remain as long as was necessary and as long as the democratically elected government in Iraq wanted us to remain'.

Defense Secretary John Reid suggested that it was an appropriate time to reflect on the 'dedication, courage, professionalism and sacrifice' of the armed forces and their families.

But leader of the Respect Party, George Galloway, who wants all troops to be withdrawn from Iraq, said the latest casualty showed the 'full disastrous consequences' of the war.

Of the 100 servicemen and women who have died in Iraq, 77 are classed as being killed in action. Another 230 British troops have been injured by enemy action since the invasion nearly three years ago.


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