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  UK troops 'still needed' in Iraq
Updated 18 April 2003, 17.58
Children look for water in Iraq
British troops still have to stay in Iraq even though the war is coming to an end, they've been told.

There is a lot of work to be done to help the Iraqis re-build their country and the soldiers must be part of that, the British Government said.

However, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon promised they would not be in Iraq "a day longer than is absolutely necessary".

Blair 'was set to quit'

The troops will be helping get back the country's water and electricity supplies, which were hit by the war.

Tony Blair had been ready to quit
This comes as British Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted he was ready to quit the government over a crucial vote about Iraq.

He said he sat down with his children and prepared them for the fact that he might lose his job.

This happened just before the Commons voted on whether to go to war with Iraq. If he'd lost the vote, Mr Blair said he had been ready to resign.

In the end, he won the vote, but by quite a small majority.

In other Iraq news:

  • Charity Oxfam has flown lots of water, and water cleaning materials, over to Iraq to help the people there
  • United Nations' weapons inspector, Hans Blix, has said his team could still get involved in searching Iraq for weapons of mass destruction again
  • The US military says it has captured Saddam Hussein's half-brother, Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti

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