updated 9/24/2005 5:40:38 AM ET 2005-09-24T09:40:38

An Iraqi judge said on Saturday he had renewed arrest warrants for two British soldiers who were rescued from jail early this week by troops using armor to crash through the prison walls.

The two soldiers were arrested by Iraqi authorities on Monday after allegedly shooting two Iraqi policemen who tried to detain them. One of the policemen reportedly was killed. The two British soldiers, operating undercover, were subsequently taken into custody.

A British armored patrol then surrounded the jail where the two were held, prompting a riot in the Basra, Iraq’s second largest city and the southern hub of the country’s oil industry. Angry residents attacked the British armor with Molotov cocktails and pelted soldiers with stones as they jumped from the burning vehicles.

Later Monday, British armored vehicles crashed through the prison walls in an operation to rescue the two soldiers. They were subsequently found in a nearby house in the custody of militiamen, Britain said.

Basra authorities said the operation violated Iraqi sovereignty and the governor ordered all government employees to stop cooperating with the British, who have 8,500 troops in the Shiite Muslim-dominated region.

Judge Raghib al-Mudhafar, chief of the Basra Anti-Terrorism Court, said he reissued homicide arrest warrants for the two soldiers on Thursday.

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