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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
Family dismisses Iraq war report
Corporal Paul Long
Corporal Paul Long was killed in Majar el-Kabir last June.
The family of a British solider killed in Iraq has called for Prime Minister Tony Blair to apologise for taking the country to war.

Sixty British soldiers have been killed in the war, including Corporal Paul Long, a Royal Military policeman from South Shields, South Tyneside.

He was among six Red Caps killed in an Iraqi police station after being surrounded by more than 400 Iraqis.

His brother said the family does not accept the Butler report findings.

Lord Butler's inquiry, published on Wednesday, criticised the quality of intelligence given to ministers to support the Iraq war.

I can't believe they can't actually see there are people to blame for it
Byron Long
It cleared ministers of distorting intelligence on Iraq's weapons to support the case for war, but criticised the way the intelligence was analysed and presented.

It raised concerns about Mr Blair's style of government and his emphasis on un-minuted and informal meetings.

Paul Long was killed on 24 June last year, along with Corporal Simon Miller, 21, from Tyne and Wear, and four other soldiers.

Mr Long's brother, Byron, said on Thursday: "I can't believe they can't actually see there are people to blame for it.

"I do agree when they said there is no-one person to blame, but they didn't mention there are actually two people to blame for it - we know who they are - Tony Blair and George Bush. It's as simple as that, but there's nothing we can do about it.

'No apology'

"Someone's got to carry the can - it can't be down to an act of God that two people decided to go to war with the country over a lack of intelligence that should have been there."

Mr Long's mother, Pat, said Mr Blair should apologise for the decisions he made.

She said: "I've had no apology from anybody except the army - they said how deeply sorry they were on the death of my son."

Byron Long also dismissed arguments that the world is a safer place without Saddam Hussein.

He said: "There's just as much bloodshed going on in Iraq now as it was back then. They can't say the world is a safer place. We still have al-Qaeda and warmongers like Bush in power."





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SEE ALSO:
Blair considers Butler criticisms
15 Jul 04  |  Politics
At-a-glance: Butler report
14 Jul 04  |  Politics


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