When the Iraqi police attempted to put them under arrest, the British commandos opened fire on the police, killing two of them. The British forces were then taken to a Basra jail.
When news of the jailing of the commandos reached the British army forces, 10 British tanks, along with helicopter support, were sent to the jail. When Iraqis realized the tanks were headed for the jail, they launched an attack of rocks, sticks, and molotov cocktails on the British forces. The ensuing clash wound up in the deaths of four Iraqis and the injury of three British soldiers.
Tanks broke through the walls
The tanks, firing on the Iraqi protestors, broke through the walls of the Basra jail to rescue the British commandos. At the same time, taking advantage of the breakdown of the prison walls, up to 150 Iraqi prisoners escaped from the Basra prison.
There are more than 8 thousand British security forces found in Basra currently, and attacks on their forces have begun to increase in recent weeks.