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Amnesty: British Soldiers Killed Iraqi Civilians Who Posed No Threat - 2004-05-11


A human rights organization says British troops have shot and killed civilians in Iraq who were no apparent threat.

In a report issued today (Tuesday), London-based Amnesty International said the victims included an eight-year old girl. It said British officials have failed to investigate many of the shootings -- and that the inquiries they did undertake were too secretive, with little or no information given to the victims' families.

Amnesty also said dozens -- perhaps hundreds -- of people have been executed by armed groups and individuals in British-controlled southern Iraq. It said Iraqis have little confidence that the British military or Iraqi police in the region can protect them.

The report came after top British officials apologized for abuse of Iraqi prisoners. Prime Minister Tony Blair said any abuse was "totally unacceptable," and has vowed those responsible will be punished.

Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon, however, said Monday that some published photos of British troops abusing Iraqis may not be authentic. He said there were "strong indications" that vehicles pictured in the photographs were not in Iraq at the time in question.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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