UK troops arrested over Afghanistan child abuse claims

Soldier on patrol
Image caption The Ministry of Defence said it takes abuse allegations "extremely seriously"

Military police are investigating allegations of child abuse by two British soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Sun newspaper said the separate incidents were filmed and shown to colleagues on laptop computers.

The Ministry of Defence said it took such claims "seriously" and the Royal Military Police were investigating.

The BBC understands that the two soldiers do not belong to the Mercian battle group as was originally reported by the MoD.

The army is not willing to name their unit.

"We are aware that an allegation has been made concerning alleged inappropriate behaviour by two servicemen in Afghanistan," said a spokeswoman.

"The Royal Military Police (Special Investigations Branch) has launched an investigation into this. We take any such allegation extremely seriously."

High standards

The Afghan government said it was "disgusted" by the abuse allegation, which comes after a video which showed US Marines apparently urinating on dead Afghans.

"The government of Afghanistan is immensely disgusted by the rise in recent incidents of immoral nature among foreign soldiers," President Hamid Karzai's office said.

"(Such incidents) clearly undermine public confidence and the Afghan people's cooperation with foreign troops."

It added: "The Afghan government asks the UK government to launch an immediate probe into the report and apply necessary punishment to those involved in the act."

Brig Gen Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, said an investigation had been launched.

"We expect members of all ISAF troop-contributing nations to adhere to the highest standards of military service.

"If a service member is found to have committed an offence, or behaved in a manner not in keeping with the appropriate moral standards expected of them, they will be dealt with appropriately through the respective nation's military judicial system."

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