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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 July, 2003, 00:05 GMT 01:05 UK
Danes prepare for snow in Iraq
Snowplough (at work in England)
S'no joke when the winter gear is sent to Iraq in summer
Denmark's troops in Iraq may dream of the frost of a Scandinavian winter on days when the temperature rises to a blistering 46 degrees.

But many may have been wondering if the military back home really had to rub it in when a recent supply shipment turned up a snowplough and a stock of salt for icy roads.

Baking in the heat and dust outside Basra, the 380-odd Danes could have been forgiven for thinking the lawnmowers also included in the cargo were a mirage.

"We admit that there were some mistakes made in the shipment of materiel," a military spokesman, Major Jan Brinck, told the AFP news agency.

The mistake appeared "comical", he said, as Danish newspapers were reporting shortages of essential items such as morphine and even stakes for tents for the soldiers stationed at Qurna, 75 kilometres (45 miles) from Basra.

"But we are trying to remedy the shortcomings and are working relentlessly to send the necessary materiel to our men," the spokesman stressed.

He might also have mentioned other reported complaints from troops such as getting bullet-proof vests the wrong size and being assigned ageing military vehicles given a last-minute reprieve from the junkyard.

Defense Minister Svend Aage Jensby has told one Danish paper, Ekstra Bladet, of his displeasure over the mistakes and has promised to put them right.


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