The Independent, UK, Feb. 23, 2008
British soldiers in Iraq may have tortured, mutilated and executed up to 20 Iraqi detainees four years ago, according to five Iraqi civilians who say they saw the murders.
Lawyers acting for the five men produced a dossier yesterday which alleges the British Army executed the detainees at the Abu Naji military base where they had been taken after a three-hour gun battle near the southern Iraqi town of Majat-al-Kabir in May 2004.
The allegations, which the Ministry of Defence strongly denies, first came to light four weeks after Mehdi Army militia ambushed British troops on a main highway between Baghdad and the southern city of Basra but this is the first time witnesses have come forward with allegations of an execution.
The Army has always claimed 28 gunmen were killed after the ambush which came to be known as the "Battle of Danny Boy" and that 20 bodies and a number of prisoners were taken to the nearby Camp Abu Naji for identification.