An explosion rocked a British military base in southern Iraq on Wednesday but no casualties were reported, a British military spokesman said.

The blast took place at 8:10 p.m. at one of Saddam Hussein's palaces, which serves as the headquarters for the 19th Brigade (search). That brigade is responsible for British troops in Basra and the surrounding area, said spokesman Maj. Niall Greenwood.

"The early indication is that it was a light mortar round at Saddam's palace. There were no casualties. No significant structural damage was reported," he said.

British troops have seen protests in the southern city in recent days as Iraqi ex-soldiers have mounted demonstrations over their back-pay. One protester was killed and several others injured.