Report: UK soldiers allegedly abused Afghan youths

AP News
Posted: Jan 18, 2012 8:54 AM
Report: UK soldiers allegedly abused Afghan youths

British authorities said Wednesday that they are investigating allegations of inappropriate behavior by two soldiers in Afghanistan after reports surfaced about possible abuse of children there.

The Sun newspaper reported the allegations, saying the solders filmed the children and showed the video to other servicemen who reported them. Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office said it was "deeply disturbed" by reports that British soldiers encouraged two Afghan children to touch them.

The British Ministry of Defense, however, would not comment on the nature of the allegations or say if the soldiers remain on active duty.

It said Wednesday that the investigations branch of the Royal Military Police, the part of the army that polices soldiers, has launched a probe. "We take any such allegation extremely seriously," a ministry statement said. "It would be inappropriate to comment further while an investigation is ongoing."

Tensions between the Afghan government and coalition forces grew last week after a video emerged purporting to show U.S. Marines urinating on dead bodies in Afghanistan.

Karzai's office on Wednesday slammed what it called a disgusting "rise in recent incidents of immoral nature among foreign soldiers." Calling the alleged acts "child abuse," the Afghan government called on Britain to investigate and punish anyone involved.