Feeds

Brit troops release badger plague on Basra

Forces deny responsibility for musteline black op

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

British forces in the lively Iraqi city of Basra are denying claims they are responsible for a "plague" of "vicious badger-like creatures which have attacked livestock - and even humans", the Telegraph reports.

Shaken locals have recounted chilling tales of rampant "ratels" - feared desert carnivores who normally dine on cobras and attack humans only when provoked. Sattar Jabbar, a 50-year-old farmer, explained: "I saw it at night attacking animals. It even ate a cow. It tore the cow up piece by piece."

The ratels have been operating in the city, too. Housewife Suad Hassan recounted: "I was sleeping when this strange animal hit me on my head. My husband hurried to shoot it but it was as swift as a deer."

The blame for the musteline black ops lies firmly with the British, according to farmer Ali Mohsen. He said: "This animal appeared following a raid to the region by the British forces. They probably released this animal into the area."

Not so, corrected the director of Basra's veterinary hospital, Mushtaq Abdul-Mahdi, who noted the animals had been around for decades and clarified: "They are known locally as al-Girta. Talk that this animal was brought by the British forces is incorrect."

British Army spokesman Major David Gell further explained that the four-legged assassins were "thought to be a kind of honey badger" - melivora capensis. He said: "They are native to the region but rare in Iraq. They're nocturnal carnivores with a fearsome reputation, but they don't stalk humans and carry them back to their lair."

Whoever, or whatever, is ultimately responsible for Basra's badger battallion, the city's besieged residents have not taken the invasion lying down. Several have been shot, as this YouTube clip shows:

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.