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OUT OF CONTROL; WORLD EXCLUSIVE: MORE SHAMEFUL BEATINGS -Iraqi's arm broken with baton -Soldiers swap 'abuse' photos.


SQUADDIES regularly swapped photos of degrading treatment of Iraqi prisoners, it was claimed yesterday.

One of the two soldiers who revealed the brutal treatment of a suspect told the Mirror: "If the Army would admit it they know of the existence of other pictures of other incidents.

"Everyone out there is carrying a digital camera. In some cases they are even Ministry of Defence issue.

"I know one lad who was walking around with a video camera."

The other man said: "Maybe the officers don't know what is going on but everybody else does. I've seen hundreds of pictures."

And Soldier B added that the behaviour of a number of British troops had been "out of control".

We saw photos of the pair serving in Basra with the Queen's Lancashire Regiment - including one of another arrest in the city.

The men told of more incidents of abuse, including one when a prisoner who was hit so hard with a baton he had a compound fracture to his arm.

They claimed colleagues boasted of what would be classed as war crimes.

One said: "Some lads were telling of how they made an Iraqi swim across a river and were taking pot shots at him."

Many of the pictures were destroyed in September after an investigation was launched into a death in military custody.

Soldiers destroyed computer discs and wiped digital camera cards.

One of the squaddies said: "I ripped pages out of my own diary. I had written things down I shouldn't have. I destroyed it."

The Mirror has agreed to protect their identities because they revealed the shocking beating of a man arrested on suspicion of theft. The man, who was never charged with anything, suffered an eight hour ordeal before being thrown from a moving truck. It is not known if he survived.

Soldier A said: "I was there, I saw what happened and I can tell you this - there were more pictures taken at the time."

He explained: "Every time we went out on an arrest we carried cameras. We were told to photograph everything in a house when we went in. The Army were issuing Sony cameras which were very good.

"But the Iraqis were selling digital cameras for about pounds 70. Everyone was buying them.

"What happened to this lad shouldn't have happened. Now the world knows what has been going on." Soldier B said: "If the world thinks they were shocked by these pictures they haven't seen anything. You ought to have been there, to have seen the things we've seen." The Defence Ministry said last night: "We are not aware of any other pictures in circulation that depict mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners. If anyone has more allegations of such, they should bring them to the attention of the authorities."

Meanwhile a US general blamed for letting soldiers torture prisoners said she was being made a scapegoat - and pointed the finger at military intelligence for encouraging the horrific treatment.

Brigadier General Janis Karpinski is suspended and faces court martial as the officer in charge of guards who stripped prisoners naked and beat them.

She claimed she could not keep an eye on the men and women in question because they operated in a no-go area of the prison under the control of army intelligence.

Special cell block 1A at Abu Ghraib in Baghdad was off limits to soldiers who were not part of the interrogations. She said intelligence officers, including members of the CIA, were there "24 hours a day".

A 53 page report by Major General Antonio Taguba, obtained by New Yorker magazine, backed her claims. It found numerous "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses" by guards and intelligence officers.

Accused Sergeant Javal Davis said army intelligence told guards: "Loosen this guy up for us... make sure he gets the treatment."

Taguba's report recommended strong action against two military intelligence officers said to be "either directly or indirectly responsible" for the abuse with two civilians.


SOLDIER B; ON SALE: Soldiers bought Iraqis' cameras; DUTY: Second soldier pictured riding in a tank while serving in the southern Iraqi city of Basra
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 3, 2004
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