Beating claims in Red Cap inquiry

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MINISTRY of Defence detectives have launched a criminal inquiry into claims that British soldiers investigating the murders of their comrades beat four Iraqi policemen so badly they needed hospital treatment.

The incident is alleged to have happened at the same police station in Majar al-Kabir, Maysan, southern Iraq, where six UK Red Caps were killed by a 400-strong mob on June 24 2003.

The murders of the six Red Caps, including Corporal Simon Miller, 21, from Washington, shocked UK forces in Iraq.

The alleged Iraqi victims claim the soldiers kicked and punched them as well as hitting them with rifle butts and batons, according to documents submitted to the High Court.

The abuse of the Iraqi policemen is alleged to have taken place in July 2003 as British soldiers were investigating the Red Cap killings. No arrests have been made.