Police Riot in Basra
About 200 police gathered in front of the British Headquarters in Basra Monday to protest a reduction in their salaries from $160 a month to only $60 a month. At one point they rushed the offices of the chief British officials, and came to blows with British guards. The British troops fired over their heads, wounding one man slightly. The demonstration ended when the British permitted a delegation of 7 of them men to come into the building and negotiate with British authorities. (al-Zaman)
Basra has been quiet since major riots in August, despite occasional resprisal killings of former Baathists and some tribal feuds. The British administration of the city must be running out of funds for them to do something so unwise as to cut the pay of the Iraqi police so drastically. That decision was a riot waiting to happen, and it points to some sort of fiscal desperation on the part of Coalition authorities, about which we are not hearing in the mainstream press.