A “rogue” Special Air Service (SAS) unit is suspected of executing unarmed civilians in Afghanistan and fabricating reports to cover up potential war crimes, according to reports.
Special forces soldiers allegedly murdered Afghans during raids on their homes and then planted guns at the scene to make it appear as though they had been Taliban insurgents.
Some of the victims were handcuffed and hooded before being shot dead, Royal Military Police (RMP) sources told the Sunday Times.
Many of the alleged assassinations relate to a campaign of night raids designed to bring down the Taliban by capturing their leaders and taking them to detention centres for interrogation.
British Army officers speaking to the Times claimed some SAS soldiers adopted a “shoot-to-kill” policy during the missions, which were often said to rely on flawed intelligence.
“Credible and extremely serious” evidence about the potential scandal has been gathered by Operation Northmoor, a classified RMP investigation based in an underground bunker in Cornwall.
The initial inquiry, which was investigating unlawful killings between 2010-2013, and offences including false imprisonment and assault, was expected to run until 2021.
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