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Charges Dropped Over Military Police Murders

Associated Press

August 16, 2010

BASRA, IRAQ – Five Iraqis accused of murdering six British military police officers in 2003 have had the charges against them dropped.

Six officers from the Royal Military Police were killed by a mob while defending a police station in the town of Majar al-Kabir, north of Basra.

They had been on a routine operation to train local police and, according to some reports, had been playing football with the Iraqi police officers when a crowd of between 400 and 500 people attacked.

Of those, 16 people were initially arrested and charged, but only two will now stand trial.

In the latest development, an Iraqi judge has ruled five of the men who had been charged have no case to answer.

A 2006 inquest into the killings found that while the officers were given inadequate radios and ammunition, their deaths could not have been prevented.

But the victims’ families want a public inquiry, saying negligence by army personnel led to their deaths.

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