Blair says alleged Iraqi abuses will be probed | india | Hindustan Times
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Blair says alleged Iraqi abuses will be probed

The British PM says reports that British troops savagely abused young Iraqis are serious and need to be investigated.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2006 20:51 IST

British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Sunday said reports that British troops had savagely abused young Iraqis were serious and needed to be investigated.

"We take seriously any allegation of mistreatment and these will be investigated," he told reporters at the end of a two-day Progressive Governance Summit on poverty and development at Hammanskraal outside Pretoria.

A tabloid newspaper has published video footage of troops in Iraq dragging four young protesters off a street and into an army compound where they were punched, kicked and hit with batons.

Blair however also praised the soldiers for the "great job" they were doing in Iraq.

"They are doing a great job for our country and for the wider world. Their presence there under United Nations resolutions, helping Iraq to become the democracy they want to be, is of fundamental importance.

"Any allegation of mistreatment will be investigated but they deserve our full support," said Blair.

Blair arrived in South Africa on Saturday to attend the seventh meeting of centre-left leaders since the Progressive Governance Network was created in 1999 by himself and former US president Bill Clinton.