Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

UK troops in leaked Iraq documents

A US Army soldier, right, looks on as an Iraqi Army soldier escorting two hooded men detained in a raid by Iraqi troops in Mosul. (AP)
The actions of British forces were back in the spotlight after thousands of US military documents on Iraq were leaked on Wikileaks

The actions of British forces were back in the spotlight after thousands of US military documents on Iraq were leaked.

While the majority of the 400,000 field reports obtained by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks relate to American troops, some detail allegations of abuse by UK troops, the Guardian has reported.

The archive comes after 90,000 files chronicling civilian deaths and other incidents in Afghanistan were published by the site in July.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "If any new evidence comes to light as a result of this information we will consider it."

He highlighted the fact British military involvement in Iraq was currently being scrutinised through the Iraq Inquiry and the Baha Mousa Inquiry.

As US authorities condemned the latest leak, arguing it could jeopardise the safety of its troops, the MoD spokesman added: "We would condemn the leak of information that puts any forces at risk."

According to the Guardian, the Iraq logs detail how US authorities allegedly failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and murder by Iraqi police and soldiers.

There are "numerous" reports of detainee abuse, describing prisoners being shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks with six ending with a detainee's apparent death, the paper reported.

The documents reportedly show that more than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents.

At the time of the Afghanistan leak three months ago, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the files could contain details of "thousands" of war crimes. He also expressed hopes the information would be investigated and exposed as a deterrent to future human rights abuses.

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