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

Bernard Jenkin: We're making headway in Iraq and need to stay there

The only real frustration is that nobody seems to appreciate what is being achieved

Leading article: Discipline and the duty of care

It has been a miserable few days for the reputation of the British armed forces. Last week the Ministry of Defence agreed to pay almost £3m to the families of nine Iraqis who were tortured in British custody in Basra in 2003. This was followed at the weekend by news of a military investigation into accusations from an Iraqi teenager that he was sexually abused by British soldiers during the same period. This all points to an outrageous breakdown in discipline among our armed forces after the fall of Baghdad five years ago.

Adrian Hamilton: The West still isn't taking the Iraqis into account

Within the next week – or so we are told – the Prime Minister will be delivering a statement of firm intent about the future of our troops in Iraq. The ground has been prepared, the journalists invited out to see the security progress made in Basra. Interviews have been conducted with the soldiers on the ground and the generals up above. The time has come to declare victory and start withdrawal

Army accused of human rights abuse in case of Iraqis held without trial for five years

High Court to rule on detention of two men held in what lawyers say is a Guantanamo-style legal black hole

Family wins battle for Baha Mousa inquiry

A senior judge will lead an independent public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa, an Iraqi hotel receptionist, who died while being held by British soldiers in 2003.

Army chiefs 'ignored warnings' spy plane was unsafe to fly

The Ministry of Defence is bracing itself for what is set to be the most damaging allegations so far over failure to provide service personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan with adequate equipment. An inquest this week into 14 men who died when an ageing Nimrod spy plane exploded in mid-air in 2006 will hear evidence that the MoD ignored repeated warnings from RAF pilots and ground crew that the planes were unsafe to fly.

Head of Army defends Britain's role in Basra in open letter to his troops

The head of the British Army has taken the unusual step of writing an open letter to his troops in which he defends Britain's low-key role during an offensive against Shia militias in Basra.

Girl, 17, killed in Iraq for loving a British soldier

A 17-year-old Iraqi girl was murdered by her father in an honour killing after falling in love with a British soldier she met while working on an aid programme in Basra, it has been claimed.

British troops in Basra face clashes with Mehdi Army

British troops stationed near Basra are at risk of being drawn into fighting with Shia militiamen. The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, who is on a visit to Baghdad, has offered support to the Iraqi government's offensive against the Mehdi Army.

Harper Regan, National Theatre: Cottesloe, London

In his last play, Motortown, Simon Stephens sent a squaddie, newly returned from Basra, on a brutal, alienated road trip through an England that had become a foreign country to him. There's a similarly picaresque and circular structure to his new play, Harper Regan, but this time it's a female protagonist who embarks on the journey.

America's allies in Iraq under pressure as civil war breaks out among Sunni

"God is Great," screamed a man seconds before he blew himself up, killing 10 people in a restaurant in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province in western Iraq. A series of suicide bombings have shown over the past week that al-Qa'ida in Iraq, though battered by defections over the past year, is striking back remorselessly at Sunni Arab leaders who ally themselves to the US.

Andrew Grice: Bush – and a leader running out of time?

As he heads to the US, Gordon Brown has more in common with the President than he would like

Iraqis free kidnapped British journalist

A British journalist held for two months by kidnappers in the southern Iraqi city of Basra was rescued today by Iraqi forces sweeping through the city in a crackdown on militants, the Iraqi military said.

Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Fall of Iraq, By Patrick Cockburn

A new study gives Westerners the clearest insight yet into the muddied local politics of war-torn Iraq

Army faces new torture claims over arrest of Shia leader

The testament of a respected Shia elder, aged 70, suggests brutal treatment of civilians is still continuing, writes Robert Verkaik
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