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Blair Condemns Iraq Abuse, Says Photos 'Shocking'

Blair (right) on visit to Iraq (file photo) 19 January 2005 -- Prime Minister Tony Blair today said the British military would not tolerate any abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

Three British soldiers are facing court-martial on charges of abusing prisoners. Photographs depicting the alleged abuse were published on the front pages of newspapers today.

The men were charged after another soldier serving at the same base near Al-Basrah photographed the alleged abuse.

Blair described the pictures as "shocking and appalling," but insisted that the majority of British troops in Iraq behaved honorably.

Lance Corporal Darren Larkin pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of battery after prosecutors alleged he was the man shown in one photo standing with both feet on a tied-up Iraqi lying on the ground.

Corporal Daniel Kenyon and Lance Corporal. Mark Cooley pleaded not guilty to all charges.


[For the latest news and analysis on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".]