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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Iraq | International
Security struggle in Iraq's south
Dhi Qar, in the British sector, was among the first Iraqi provinces to assume control of its own security. Its police chief tells the BBC one third of his officers are linked to illegal militias.
"You must get away from Basra," said the British army. "The view you get there is too negative. We'll take you to Muthana or Dhi Qar - those are the real success stories."
Dhi Qar and its neighbour Muthana were the first two provinces to get control of their own security from the British, last year. They are held up as a model of how things should work in Basra.
After arriving at the main base in Dhi Qar, Col Ed Brown - of the newly-formed Rifles Regiment - took us to the police headquarters in Dhi Qar's capital, Nasiriyah.
Once at the police station, senior officers boasted of the low murder rate - less than 30 a month and mostly tribal killings. They looked forward to new business investment in the province, even tourists.
This was the good news story in Dhi Qar the Army was so anxious for us to see. But after listening to half an hour of this, Brig Gen Ghalib al Jaza'aere could contain himself no longer.