London, Feb.7 (ANI): After almost nine years of insurgency in Iraq, the security condition of the second largest city of the country, Basra is improving, and the crime rate has in-fact come down below some of the major cities of Britain.
According to Maj. Gen. Andy Salmon, who is commanding the British troops in Iraq has said that the rate of violent crime and murder in Basra has fallen below some major British cities.
"On a per capita basis, if you look at the violence statistics, it is less dangerous than Manchester," The Daily Telegraph quoted Salmon, as saying.
"In a nutshell, Basra is stable," he added.
British officials in Iraq have also claimed that the security condition of Basra has improved tremendously in the recent times, and the peaceful elections conducted last month is a testimony to the fact.
Salmon, while divulging the reason behind the stability of the city said the change was largely due to the presence of very large Iraqi army and police forces.
"There are more than 30,000 Iraqi security forces in a city of more than 2 million," he said.
According to British military estimates, the murder rate in Basra fell from 22 in October to 11 in January. Only one of January's deaths has been linked to extremist groups; the rest were "old-fashioned" crimes.
British troops are set to withdraw from Iraq in March 2009, with only 400 troops remaining to train Iraqi forces.
Maj Gen Andy Salmon will be the last British general officer commanding forces in Iraq. (ANI)