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UK probes new Iraq abuse claims

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    UK probes new Iraq abuse claims




    The Ministry of Defence has said it is investigating 33 new allegations of abuse by the UK military in Iraq.Lawyers acting for former Iraqi detainees are calling for a full public inquiry into all abuse claims made during UK military involvement there.

    One allegation is that two soldiers raped a 16-year-old boy in 2003.

    Armed forces minister Bill Rammell said such claims were taken seriously but formal inquiries must be held "without judgements being made prematurely".

    "Allegations of this nature are taken very seriously. However allegations must not be taken as fact," he said.

    'Sexually humiliated'

    A public inquiry is already under way into the death of Iraqi civilian Baha Mousa, who died in British custody with 93 separate injuries.

    A report by the Independent newspaper said 33 new cases of alleged abuse had now come to light.

    One claimant alleges he was raped by two British soldiers, while others say they were striped naked, abused and photographed, the Independent said.

    Another detainee said that when he was arrested he was kicked and hit, and an electric baton was used on parts of his body.

    A fellow Iraqi, detained in 2006, claimed he was sexually humiliated.

    The lawyers said that since the British withdrawal from Basra in the summer, they had heard a host of allegations of abuse dating back to 2003.

    A legal letter was given to the MoD last week by the Iraqis' lawyer, Phil Shiner.

    The newspaper reports the letter as raising concerns about claims of sexual humiliation.

    Mr Rammell added: "Over 120,000 British troops have served in Iraq and the vast, vast majority have conducted themselves to the highest standards of behaviour, displaying integrity and selfless commitment," he said.


    "While there have been instances when individuals have behaved badly, only a tiny number of individuals have been shown to have fallen short of our high standards."
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