By Estelle Shirbon
LONDON (Reuters) – A public inquiry in London into allegations that British soldiers killed, mutilated and tortured Iraqi detainees after a battle in southern Iraq was shown gruesome photographs of bloodied corpses on Monday.
The Al-Sweady Inquiry, ordered by the British government in 2009 to get to the bottom of disputed events in the aftermath of the battle of Danny Boy on May 14, 2004, began oral hearings after three years of exhaustive detective work.
The allegations are that soldiers captured a number of Iraqis during fighting near the Danny Boy checkpoint, about 5 km (three miles) from the town of Majar al-Kabir, and took them to the Camp Abu Naji base, where some were murdered and others tortured.
The military denies any unlawful killings or ill-treatment in the aftermath of the battle.
A decade after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the issues of why the British military got involved and how the war was conducted are still hotly debated in Britain.