British troops raided a police station in the southern Iraqi city of Basra Monday after receiving intelligence that a renegade Iraqi police unit might execute its prisoners, the British military said.
"We had intelligence to indicate that the serious crimes unit would execute its prisoners in the coming days, so we decided to intervene," Lt. Jenny Saleh of the British Royal Navy in Basra said.
British forces surrounded the station late Sunday night and launched the raid at 2 a.m. on Monday, an Iraqi police official.
British and Iraqi forces transferred all 76 prisoners at the police station to another detention facility in downtown Basra, said Maj. Charlie Burbridge, a British military spokesman said.
Once the station was evacuated, British forces destroyed it with explosives.