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British troops arrested in Afghan child abuse case


British military police have arrested two servicemen over allegations that they abused children in Afghanistan, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

The Sun newspaper reported that a sergeant and a private from the Mercian Battle Group were detained over claims that they abused an Afghan boy and a girl, both aged about 10, and filmed the incidents.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed two servicemen had been arrested and released after questioning as part of an investigation by the Royal Military Police's Special Investigations Branch.

"Two service personnel have been arrested, interviewed under caution and released," the spokesman said.

The MoD said earlier it took any allegations of child abuse "extremely seriously".

The Afghan government said it was "disgusted" by the allegations and demanded an immediate investigation.

The claims come less than a week after a video emerged showing US Marines urinating on the corpses of militants in Afghanistan.

Britain has some 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, mainly based in Helmand where they are battling a Taliban insurgency. Britain intends to pull out all its combat troops by 2015.