One SAS squadron may have unlawfully killed up to 54 people in a six-month tour in Afghanistan, the broadcaster alleged FILE PHOTO. A member of the British armed forces returns from Kabul. ©Alastair Grant-WPA Pool / Getty Images
The BBC has found evidence of killings allegedly committed by the British Special Air Service (SAS) in Afghanistan in the early 2010s, a new Panorama documentary details. A pattern appears to have emerged of unlawful killings of Afghans by a squadron of SAS commandos during night raids, with as many as 54 victims over a period of just six months.
The allegations, which could turn into accusation of war crimes, were angrily denied by the UK Ministry of Defence, which said claims of unlawful conduct by commandos had previously been properly investigated.
“Neither investigation found sufficient evidence to prosecute. Insinuating otherwise is irresponsible, incorrect and puts our brave Armed Forces personnel at risk both in the field and reputationally,” the ministry said.
However, the BBC claimed that Royal Military Police (RMP) investigators had been stonewalled by the military leadership. Then-head of the UK Special Forces, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, failed to share with the probe evidence of misconduct he had in his possession, the broadcaster said.
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The new documentary updates a previous BBC investigation into SAS night raids in Afghanistan. An anonymous source had shared with the outlet hundreds of contemporaneous military reports, including operational accounts that the squadron had filed after missions.
After comparing details of missions with a US military log, the BBC managed to identify some of the locations of the raids and went to Afghanistan to talk to witnesses and collect forensic evidence, such as images of bullet holes in walls. (RT)
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