Tourists head for holiday in the line of fire

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Not since the days when the society lady Fanny Duberly rode her horse among the British ranks in the Crimea has war tourism been so popular. To the astonishment of the Foreign Office and the anger of MPs, British holidaymakers are signing up for a pounds 1,350 tour of Baghdad.

A London company is offering a package which includes a stay in the Al Rasheed Hotel, where BBC reporter John Simpson watched a missile shoot past his window at the start of the 1991 conflict.

Phil Haines, the holiday organiser, from Twickenham, said that a group of 12 tourists is due to embark on the trip over Easter.

But with the Iraqi capital under threat of imminent attack from American and British forces, Ann Winterton, Conservative MP for Congleton, said "no one in their right mind" would go on such a trip.

- Ian Burrell