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  1. ITV Report

Long-awaited report into Iraq War to be published

A British army armoured vehicle convoy rolls into southern Iraq on March 22, 2003. Credit: Reuters

The long-awaited report into Britain's controversial invasion of Iraq is to be finally published on Wednesday amid calls for Tony Blair to be held to account for taking the country to war.

A total of 179 British soldiers were killed and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians died during the conflict and no evidence of weapons of mass destruction were found despite Blair's warning.

The inquiry, which has cost £10 million in taxpayers' money, was set up in 2009 by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown to investigate the UK's involvement in the US-led invasion in 2003.

It was tasked with examining almost a decade of decisions from 2001 to 2009. This included: the decision to go to war, whether British troops were adequately prepared, the military action, what planning there was for the aftermath and what lessons can be learned.

The 179 British troops who died during the conflict. Credit: PA
The body of British Fusilier Kelan Turrington, 18, arrives at RAF Brize Norton in April 2003 after he was killed in action near Basra. Credit: Reuters
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and ex-US President George W Bush. Credit: PA
Millions of people protested against the Iraq War in central London. Credit: PA

More than 150 people gave evidence to the inquiry, led by retired civil servant Sir John Chilcot, with Tony Blair the most high-profile witness.

Blair, who appeared twice before the panel, expressed "deep and profound regret" about the loss of life suffered by British troops and Iraqi civilians, but said he had "no regrets" about removing Saddam Hussein from power.

Sir John, 77, said he will not "shy away" from criticising individuals and is "very conscious" of the report's importance to bereaved families looking for answers.

Sir John Chilcot who was a career diplomat before his appointment as chairman of the Iraq Inquiry. Credit: PA

The report is expected to contain around 2.6 million words, span 12 volumes and include an executive summary.

Journalists will be given access to the full report early in the morning but will not be able to report on what it says until Sir John Chilcot finishes speaking at around 11am.

Anyone who wishes to buy a full copy will have to pay nearly £800.

The report is likely to be the longest report in history. Credit: PA

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