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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Soldiers accused of beating PoWs
Iraqi prisoners of war
The MoD said any mistreatment would be punished
Two British soldiers have been ordered out of Iraq after the alleged beating of Iraqi prisoners of war, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

One of the allegations is that a soldier punched a prisoner in the face and gave him a black eye.

In a separate development two Iraqi deaths which happened in the custody of British soldiers are also being investigated by military police.

It is understood the men were in the custody of soldiers from the Black Watch Regiment in Basra and died in separate incidents on 13 and 18 May.

An investigation is a matter of course for any death in custody and there is no evidence at this stage to suggest the men were mistreated.

'Dim view'

The British soldiers accused of beating Iraqis are thought to have been flown to their barracks in Germany.

Their regiment has not been revealed.

An MoD spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that an alleged incident has been reported involving the beating of Iraqi PoWs.

Investigations into British conduct
Colonel Tim Collins accused of mistreating civilians and PoWs
Two soldiers accused of beatings
Two deaths in custody
Photographs of 'torture'

"Two soldiers have been returned to barracks pending an investigation.

"We would take a very dim view of poor treatment of PoWs and if the case is found to be answered, we will act accordingly."

The fresh allegations emerged just days after military police questioned a British soldier in custody over photographs which allegedly showed troops "torturing" Iraqi PoWs.

Photographic developers in Staffordshire called police after they became concerned about a number of pictures on a roll of film that had been handed in to their shop for processing.

The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"It is believed the men are Royal Fusiliers"

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20 May 03  |  Middle East

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