As if things in Iraq weren’t bad enough…
The Iraqi port city of Basra, already prey to a nasty turf war between rival militia factions, has now been gripped by a scary rumour – giant badgers are stalking the streets by night, eating humans.
“I believe this animal appeared following a raid to the region by the British forces,” said Ali Mohsen, a farmer in his 40s from Karmat Ali, near the air base used by the multinational force.
“As we are close to the airport, they probably released this animal into the area.”
British troops have been based in Basra since the 2003 US-led invasion overthrew dictator Saddam Hussein, and the 5500 that remain still face the threat of Shiite militias battling for the region’s oil resources.
They also have to battle the Iraqi rumour mill, as locals are quick to blame them for almost any calamity that befalls the area – including an apparent plague of vicious badgers with long claws and powerful jaws.
No news yet as to the sudden appearance of any frightening snakes.