Basra - The British base at Basra International Airport, 25 kilometres north-west of the city, came under Katyusha rocket attack early on Monday morning, media reports said.

British forces fired back at the source of the rockets in Mohandessin neighbourhood, a spokesperson for the multinational forces in Iraq, Major Matthew Bird, told Voices of Iraq news agency (VOI), refusing to give further details.

British soldiers are now stationed in one base - the Basra International Airport - after handing over other military bases to the Iraqi forces, according to VOI.

The British forces in Basra, 590 kilometres south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, have 5 250 troops in Iraq after withdrawing 1 850 soldiers in the past few months.

Britain was the United States' prime ally in the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. - Sapa-dpa