News ID: 110202
Publish Date : 16 December 2022 - 21:37

Investigation Launched Into Report UK Troops Killed 54 Civilians in Afghanistan

LONDON (Arab News) – British ministers have announced a statutory judge-led inquiry into allegations that crack soldiers from the UK’s Special Air Service were involved in up to 54 killings of civilians in Afghanistan between 2010 and 2013.
The probe into claims of summary executions carried out by members of the SAS special forces unit comes after years of reports about British troops allegedly killing civilians in cold blood.
In a statement to the British House of Commons, Minister for Defense People Andrew Murrison said the Ministry of Defense would concede to longstanding demands for an “independent statutory inquiry” after years of dismissing the idea, The Guardian reported.
The investigation will cover the period from mid-2010 to mid-2013.
Murrison added that Lord Justice Haddon-Cave would head the inquiry and that work would start “in earnest in 2023.”
Haddon-Cave will stand down from his job as senior presiding judge for England and Wales to focus on the task, according to The Guardian.
The announcement follows reports that Afghans were killed in suspicious circumstances by one SAS unit in Helmand province, and that their deaths amounted to war crimes.
British Shadow Defense Secretary John Healey said: “This special inquiry is welcome and must succeed. It is essential to protect the reputation of our British special forces, guarantee the integrity of military investigations, and secure justice for any of those affected.”
According to a high court case brought by law firm Leigh Day on behalf Afghan national, Saifullah, the man’s father, two brothers, and a cousin were killed during an SAS raid on a compound in southern Afghanistan in February 2011.
Court evidence indicated that Afghan men detained on SAS night raids were often separated from their families and shot dead after they were said to have unexpectedly produced a hand grenade or an AK-47 rifle.
Saifullah’s legal team sought a judicial review, arguing that the MoD did not properly investigate allegations of unlawful activity and that Britain had breached its human rights obligations by not properly examining them.