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Blair backing for troops.

Byline: By MIKE JONES Western Mail

Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday staunchly defended British troops from allegations of systematic abuse of Iraqi prisoners, saying the only evidence against them was 'almost certainly fake'. :Islamic leaders must condemn 'barbaric' beheading, says Carey:The former Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday said that Islamic leaders must condemn the 'barbaric' beheading of a US hostage. But Lord Carey was also attacking the Israeli government's policy on Palestine and raising concerns about the United States's support of Israel, during a speech he was due to give last night at Leicester University.

The peer, who now lives on Gower, provoked anger recently when he said Islamic leaders had not done enough to condemn the use of suicide bombers. He was accused of 'bigotry' and 'religious prejudice' following his address in Rome.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4 Today programme yesterday, he urged Muslim leaders to condemn the beheading of American hostage Nick Berg.

And in the lecture planned for last night, he said, 'Killing innocents in the name of God is a desecration of his Holy Name and defames religion in the world.

'I remain unapologetic about appealing to Muslim leaders to condemn outright such actions and to go on condemning. I am glad that immediately following my last speech British Muslims did condemn such acts unconditionally. In actual fact I did not have British Muslims in mind.

'My primary focus was on Middle Eastern religious leaders where statements are much more ambiguous and diluted and where unconstrained hatred of Israel is often expressed.'
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 13, 2004
Words:258
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