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Rising Sons of Basrah L.O.L 1

Soldiers keep it real with Basra Twelfth
By Diana Rusk
BRITISH soldiers in Iraq have held a tongue-in-cheek Twelfth of July demonstration complete with nationalist protesters and riot police.

Members of the Irish Guards held the parade at their base in Basra after an Orange lodge sent them sashes and orange lilies.

The images posted on internet forum Bebo show orange men from 'Basrah LOL 1 accompanied by a flute band called The Rising Sons of Basrah 2007.

They march past mock RUC officers dressed in full riot gear and a group of mock nationalist protesters holding Irish flags in opposition to the parade.

Their placards read "Reroute the marches. Keep it in your own area."

In the background, the army base at Basra where the Irish Guards have been based since May, is visible. The soldiers are currently on a seven-month tour of Iraq.

One soldier, 23-year-old Dane McKenzie, from Ballymena, who posted the images on his Bebo site, said the group decided to create their own Twelfth demonstration after sashes and orange lilies were sent from Northern Ireland.

It was only when they began parading that they realised other members of the regiment had created mock RUC officers and dressed up as nationalist protesters, he said.

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