Rich | 26.03.2003 07:44
KUWAIT, March 25 (Reuters) - British military officials said on Tuesday they had no information on any popular uprising in Iraq's second city of Basra, but added that they would do everything possible to encourage such a revolt.
"We don't know anything about a Basra uprising," said a British military source in Central Command in Qatar.
British television networks have said there are reports of an armed uprising in the city.
A British spokesman in Kuwait said British and U.S. forces wanted the people of Basra to attack soldiers loyal to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
"We'll help them every which way we can," said British spokesman Chris Vernon, adding that British forces were looking to weaken Saddam's power structure in the city and had captured a top official of his Ba'ath party there earlier in the day.
"We are helping them when we took out probably the most senior Ba'ath party guy in Basra this morning. That will have sent a shockwave through them," Vernon told a news conference.