British soldiers accused of killing civilians

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ALLEGATIONS that British troops in Iraq were guilty of killing civilians and “terrifying acts of brutality” were made at the High Court in London yesterday.

Women, the elderly and children were among the victims of indiscriminate action following the invasion of Iraq, according to an 82-page document put before two judges.

Lawyers representing nearly 200 Iraqis are seeking a public inquiry into allegations that British interrogators were guilty of unlawful killings as well as torture in British-controlled detention facilities.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is investigating the claims through the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT).

But Public Interest Lawyers (PIL), which is acting for 192 Iraqis, says IHAT is not sufficiently independent to investigate alleged “systemic” human rights violations on a huge scale.

The MoD argues that a public inquiry would be “premature and disproportionate”.