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Soldiers executed by Iraqis.

Byline: By CHRIS HUGHES

TWO wounded British soldiers were executed by Iraqi military intelligence after the army put them in unnecessary danger, a coroner said yesterday.

Staff sergeant Simon Cullingworth, 36, and sapper Luke Allsopp, 24, thought they were being driven to hospital after being dragged from their ambushed Land Rover.

Instead they were stripped of their weapons and body armour and taken to a Ba'ath HQ outside the flashpoint town of Al Zubayr, near Basra.

They were then moved to an Iraqi military intelligence compound where they were shot dead from at least two rifles and a pistol.

Oxford coroner Andrew Walker was told by an army investigator it was common practice for Iraqi intelligence to kill prisoners.

He said: "It would seem from the evidence the men were murdered by Iraqi intelligence. They were shot and killed in that compound."

He also condemned the army for not anticipating the danger in which the soldiers were placed.

The ambush took place on the same road where ITN broadcaster Terry Lloyd, 51, was killed in crossfire the day before.

Army chiefs would have known of Mr Lloyd's death when the men were told which route to use. But instead of avoiding the town they were told to go through the outskirts where they became trapped.

Mr Walker said: "The failure adequately to plan for and warn of the dangers was a contributory factor to the men's deaths."

Verdict: Unlawful killing.

CAPTION(S):

VICTIM: Luke' KILLED: Simon
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 3, 2006
Words:246
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