News he giant Rumaila oilfield, near Basra, produces a third of Iraq's oil output. The British security man allegedly at the centre of religious unrest works at a camp run by oil services group Schlumberger

At a time of tremendous religious significance for the Shia, the insensitive actions of a British security man appear to have sparked a major crisis

Letters: Academics and government

Academia and politics, the worst of both worlds

After six years, one month and 11 days, Britain ends its military mission in Iraq

Troops mark their withdrawal from Basra with ceremony to remember fallen comrades

Britain ends combat operations in Iraq

Britain and Iraq have begun a "long-term partnership of equals", Prime Minister Gordon Brown declared today as the end of UK combat operations there was announced.

Brutal reminders that peace in Iraq is far from assured

As British troops pull out of Basra, a stabbing and car bombing show that stability is still a long way away

British troops say goodbye to Basra as US takes over

After six years and 179 deaths, pull-out begins

Basra on suicide watch after deaths

British troops in Basra have been put on an unprecedented "suicide watch" following the death of three soldiers from self-inflicted gunshot wounds in just over two months.

Tourism potential 'phenomenal' for wartorn Basra

Basra's potential as a tourist destination is "quite phenomenal", offering everything from historic sites to bird watching, according to Britain's Consul General in southern Iraq.

Miliband: Leaders 'impatient' to run Iraq

Iraqi leaders are now "impatient" to run their affairs as conditions in the country improve by the week, David Miliband said today.

Election success pave way for the leaving of Basra

Basra's elections passed without major incident this weekend setting the tone for the British end game in Iraq.

Maliki allies set for big wins in Iraq election

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's allies look set for sweeping victories in provincial polls, a result that could overturn the post-Saddam political order and strengthen the hand of a leader once seen as weak.

Enthusiasm - and wariness - as Basra prepares to vote

Basra's mobile phones have been buzzing incessantly for the past few weeks as candidates implore the local population by text message to vote in tomorrow's election.

Looted ancient treasures recovered in Basra 'sting'

Smugglers were planning to sell priceless artefacts stolen from museums to foreign collectors

Humiliation: Iraqi MPs reject UK exit deal

Parliamentary vote on mandate for British forces could leave them without legal cover next month. Kim Sengupta in Basra and Brian Brady report

James Hanning: Our troops know Iraq. Let's listen to them

As British soldiers face a long haul in Afghanistan, politicians should look to Basra to avoid making the same mistakes

The Dawn of a new Basra

With the date set for British troops to leave, Kim Sengupta ventures on to the streets to find a city at peace with itself – for now
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