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99 Afghan casualty incidents probed

At least 30 Afghan civilians are reported to have died in incidents involving British forces over the past six years, documents obtained under the Freedom of Information act have revealed.

The Royal Military Police (RMP) has investigated almost 100 incidents between January 2005 and March this year in which troops are alleged to have killed or injured civilians in Afghanistan, the Guardian reported.

They include road traffic accidents, the alleged shootings of civilians and the alleged murder or manslaughter of a man on a motorcycle who was said to have been shot by a sniper.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in the documents that the RMP had launched 99 investigations into "incidents in which Afghan civilians have allegedly been killed or wounded by British military personnel in Afghanistan", according to the Guardian.

However, the Service Prosecuting Authority would not tell the newspaper how many soldiers had been prosecuted as a result of the investigations. The edited details of 50 investigations were handed over to the Guardian.

An MoD spokesman said: "The protection of the Afghan civilian population is at the core of our military strategy.

"The International Security Assistance Forces (Isaf) have worked extremely hard to reduce civilian casualties, introducing new rules to govern the use of force. And we have had considerable success.

"However, the vast majority of civilian casualties are caused by the Taliban.

"When we are made aware of an incident or alleged incident, the UK follows the robust Isaf process to investigate it."

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