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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 May, 2004, 22:48 GMT 23:48 UK
Mirror reveals new abuse claims
Daily Mirror photo of alleged abuse
The Mirror is standing by its pictures

Two more soldiers have come forward claiming to have seen British troops abusing Iraqis, a newspaper has said.

The men, named only as "soldiers E and F", told Wednesday's Daily Mirror the troops regularly beat detainees.

E said such action was condoned "all the way from the top" and believed the paper's earlier photos showing alleged abuse were genuine, the report said.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman urged E and F to come forward so their claims could be fully investigated.

"The abuse of prisoners is unacceptable and if any allegations are proven, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against the individual or individuals concerned," he said.

"It is in no-one's best interests if the guilty avoid punishment."

Beating 'witnessed'

The newspaper says soldier E is a member of the Territorial Army attached to the Queen's Lancashire Regiment - the force named in previous abuse claims.

He tells the paper he witnessed the orchestrated beating of an Iraqi prisoner in the back of a van.

He was "sickened" by what he saw in Basra. "It wasn't right," he is reported as saying.

The new allegations follow earlier Mirror reports and pictures which claimed UK soldiers abused Iraqis in their custody.

The photographs appeared to show soldiers from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment urinating on a prisoner and striking him with a rifle.

They have provoked a storm of protest.

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has cast doubt on their authenticity - saying it was likely the pictures were a hoax.

Apology demand

The regiment accused of the abuse has demanded an apology from the Mirror for publishing the images, but the paper has stood by their accuracy.

In Wednesday's paper the Mirror continues its fightback saying Soldier E believes its pictures were genuine.

The second soldier, F, is reported to have served for four months at the Al Amara British prison, north of Basra.

The paper says it has a signed statement from him also detailing random beatings.

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