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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 May, 2004, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Four arrested over 'Iraq abuse'
Daily Mirror front page
The Daily Mirror has apologised for running fake photos
Four UK soldiers have been arrested over alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The four were questioned under caution and released without charge.

The news follows the sacking of Daily Mirror editor, Piers Morgan, after his paper apologised for publishing fake photos of UK troops abusing captives.

The MoD said the arrests were not linked to the hoax pictures.

The Mirror said on Saturday it would donate all proceeds from the syndicated sale of the pictures to charity.

'Right thing'

A statement released on behalf of the newspaper said: "It would not be right to profit from the sale of those images."

Half of the money would be given to an Armed Forces charity of their own choosing, and the rest towards aiding the work of the international Red Cross, it said.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have gone through this treatment and don't need to see pictures to know it
Ghayth Armanazi
The Queen's Lancashire Regiment (QLR), the unit concerned, welcomed the Daily Mirror's front page apology on Saturday for publishing the faked photographs.

It said it was an important step in repairing the reputation of British troops in Iraq.

Regiment Brigadier Geoff Sheldon also said it was "good to know that the Daily Mirror has so quickly done the right thing" in donating the proceeds.

"We want the widest military family to benefit from this sad affair," he said.

But the chair of the Arab International Media Forum, Ghayth Armanazi, said the events would not make much difference to the Arab world, because of the abuse that had been carried out by US troops.

"Tens of thousands of Iraqis have gone through this treatment and they don't need to see pictures to know it," he said.

He added that a "regime" of abuse was overseen from high up and that its effects were widespread.

"It was not a few bad apples going astray, decisions were taken at a very high level for interrogations to be carried out like this," he said.

"The British are guilty by association, because they are riding on the Americans' coat-tails," he added.

'Malicious hoax'

An MoD spokesman said the paper had helped them with their investigation into the source of the fake pictures.

We absolutely believed they were what we were told they were, otherwise we would never have printed them
Daily Mirror

The pictures were published by the paper on 1 May.

One photograph showed a soldier urinating on a hooded man while in another the hooded man is being hit with a rifle in the groin.

The pictures were investigated by the Royal Military Police (RMP), which said the truck shown in the photographs was never in Iraq.

On Friday the QLR also demonstrated to reporters aspects of uniform and equipment which it said proved the photographs were false.

In Saturday's edition, the Daily Mirror admitted the photographs were fakes but says they "were printed in good faith".

It continued: "We absolutely believed they were what we were told they were, otherwise we would never have printed them."

'Similar stories'

Neither the government nor the regiment have denied abuses may have taken place in Iraq.

Inside pages of the Daily Mirror
The Daily Mirror is continuing to criticise the government
An RMP investigation into other alleged abuses by British soldiers of Iraqis is still continuing.

One of the Mirror's informants - Soldier C - said there had been abuse in Iraq.

The Territorial Army soldier was questioned by the RMP after talking about his claims to the newspaper.

On ITV's Tonight With Trevor McDonald on Friday he said: "It did go on, it wasn't all the army, it wasn't systematic but it did happen."


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Clarence Mitchell
"Today's front page said it all"



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