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[casi] Britons Want UK Forces Out Of Iraq

 Britons Want UK Forces Out Of Iraq
     Monday 01 September 2003

     LONDON - More than 60 percent of Britons believe their government
should be withdrawing its troops from Iraq, an opinion poll shows.

     A poll for the Daily Mirror tabloid newspaper and television show GMTV
asking when British forces should be withdrawn from Iraq, found 29 percent
of respondents wanted troops pulled out as soon as possible and 32 percent
called for a phased withdrawal, with a final date set for the last soldier
to leave.

     Prime Minister Tony Blair's embattled government has been put under a
harsh spotlight by a judicial inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the
apparent suicide of Iraq weapons expert Dr David Kelly and public
displeasure at the growing number of British servicemen killed in an
unstable postwar Iraq.

     Last week gunmen killed a British soldier in southern Iraq, bringing to
11 the number of British soldiers killed since May 1, when U.S. President
George W. Bush declared that major combat in the U.S.-led war which ousted
Saddam Hussein was over.

     There was more bad news for Blair in the poll, which said the greatest
number of respondents held him responsible for Kelly's death compared with
other people or organisations mentioned in the press.

     The prime minister was blamed by 21 percent of respondents, compared
with 15 percent who said Kelly was responsible, seven percent who believed
the Ministry of Defence primarily responsible and six percent who pointed
the finger the BBC.

     The poll was conducted after Blair gave evidence to the Hutton inquiry
last week. The paper did not say how many people it had polled.

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