30 MORE TORTURE SCANDALS PROBED

MoD dossier includes Black Watch double murder claims

By Steve Mckenzie
 

THIRTY cases of torture and murder by British and American troops against Iraqi POWs are being investigated by defence chiefs.

The probe will examine photos of members of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, who appear to be urinating on a terrified Iraq captive.

The dossier of terror includes :

Claims that POWs were thrown to their deaths from a bridge. A videotape of the killings is said to have been destroyed.

The drowning of 16-year-old Ahmad Jabbar Kareem, who was allegedly forced into a canal by British soldiers near Basra.

The deaths of two men detained by the Black Watch near Basra a year ago. Abd al-Jabbar Mossa, 53, and Rathy Namma are both said to have suffered heart failure. Mossa's family claim he was hit on the head.

Weeks after the torture photographs were taken, a prisoner was allegedly beaten to death by members of the same Queen's Lancashire Regiment.

An MOD spokeswoman said yesterday's bombshell allegations which followed pictures of US troops abusing inmates in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison are being investigated by the Royal Military Police.

She said: 'They are trying to speak to as many people as possible and build up as big a picture as possible.

'If there is found to be evidence of criminal behaviour it will be passed to the prosecution authority.'

She said a court martial or prison sentence were options if any soldier was found guilty of abuse.

The spokeswoman added: 'This alleged behaviour is appalling and contravenes the British Army's high standards of conduct and besmirches its good name.'

Human rights group Amnesty International lodged complaints with the MoD and Pentagon before last week's shocking pictures were printed.

Neil Durkin, of Amnesty, said: 'We have 20 to 30 cases, some relating to the same incident.

'The allegations are against a mix of both British and American forces. In most the prisoners were hooded and on numerous occasions kicked and beaten and hit with hard objects, probably rifles.

'They were made to stand in painful positions, deprived of sleep and subjected to loud noises and bright lights and threatened that they would be executed. A number of people have died in custody.'

Armed Forces minister Adam Ingram described the pictures of torture as 'despicable', adding: 'If the allegations are true, they are appalling and there is no justification for them at all.

'We have to establish the facts as quickly as we can and establish them accurately and precisely and then take appropriate action as quickly as we can.'

The minister did not rule out sending extra troops to Iraq to deal with the growing unrest.

lTWO US soldiers have been killed in roadside bombings and two US sailors died in Iraq's central Anbar province over the last two days.


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