NICOSIA (AFP) – A first batch of casualties from the war in Iraq was evacuated to a military hospital at a British air base in Cyprus on Monday, a spokesman said. «Recently, in the last 12 hours, two soldiers arrived in Akrotiri for medical treatment. They were both British,» the spokesman for the British bases on the eastern Mediterranean island, Major Tony Brumwell, told AFP. «They are being treated prior to their transfer to the UK,» he said without elaborating on their condition or the circumstances in which they were wounded. The pair were the first combat casualties to be evacuated to Cyprus since the war began, although some 10 UK troops were already being treated at Akrotiri for injuries sustained during training. The largest Royal Air Force base outside Britain, Akrotiri has been gearing up to play a key role in providing emergency treatment for coalition casualties.