Iraqis in Basra have taken to the streets to protest against a British commander being installed as the de facto leader of the city.
Brigadier Adrian Bradshaw talks to Tony Blair on his visit to Basra
The committee of utility experts charged with getting the city's infrastructure back on its feet is headed by Brigadier Adrian Bradshaw, the commander of the British Seventh Brigade, the Desert
On Sunday, when the committee met for the first time, protesters, reportedly as many as 5,000, gathered outside the military base in Basra, led by Shia Muslim clerics.
They carried banners with "No to British rule over Basra" and "We can rule
ourselves" on them.
One of the organisers of the demonstration, Sheikh Ahmed Malki, told news agency AFP: "We demand an Iraqi
governor, elected by the people while they are imposing a British
governor on us."
Iraq's second city is suffering from chronic shortages of water and electricity, rubbish is piling up in the streets and looting continues.
The original committee set up to restore utilities and key services in the city was disbanded on 24 May because it was found to be full of members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party.
It had been headed by Sheikh Muzahem al-Tamimi, a tribal leader who was also a member of the Baath Party, which had angered many local people.
Children play in a canal in Basra which is getting back to normal
The new technical committee will be run in conjunction with a separate political body which will set up a local government.
No date has been set for the establishment of the political body.
The organisers of Sunday's protest released a statement "rejecting a British
governor and any administrative council imposed by the occupying
They called on "all Iraqi political forces to quickly hold under
UN sponsorship a conference" on Iraq's future.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Tony Blair visited British troops in Basra and praised them for the way they took the city.