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UK troops sent home over PoW case

Desert Rats serving in southern Iraq
Desert Rats serving in southern Iraq

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Two British soldiers have been sent back to barracks after an investigation was opened into the alleged punching of Iraqi PoWs.

The men, who have not been named, are alleged to have hit a prisoner while serving with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

A spokeswoman for the UK Ministry of Defence told CNN Wednesday: "An investigation into the incident has begun, but I can confirm the man was punched in the face and received a black eye."

In a second, separate incident, two more British soldiers from the so-called Desert Rats are being questioned about the deaths of two Iraqi prisoners.

Foul play is "not at the forefront of the investigation" at the moment, the MoD spokeswoman added.

The Iraqis died on different days last month while allegedly being held at a detention center in Basra, southern Iraq, in the custody of the Desert Rats, officially known as the Black Watch battalion, which is part of the 7th Armoured Brigade.

The army is already looking into a third separate incident involving photos handed in by a British soldier to a photoshop in Tamworth, central England, which allegedly show Iraqi PoWs being tortured.

The investigation was opened after a member of staff from the photo development company handed the pictures to police. (UK probes 'mistreated POW photos')

The photos are alleged to have been taken by British troops of the Royal Fusiliers depicting what was described by the MoD as "improper treatment of PoWs."

The MoD has started an investigation into this incident, and has arrested a soldier from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

All three investigations are ongoing.


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