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    Clegg suggests Iraq abuse investigation

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    ODN

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    Allegations of killings, torture and abuse in Iraq contained in leaked US military logs, must be properly examined, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said.


    Mr Clegg, who has previously said he believes the Iraq war was "illegal", said it was up to the US administration to answer for the actions of its forces.


    And he did not rule out the possibility of an inquiry into the actions of British forces in Iraq.


    His comments contrasted with a statement yesterday by the Ministry of Defence, which warned that the posting of 400,000 classified US military logs on the WikiLeaks website could endanger the lives of British forces.


    "We can bemoan how these leaks occurred, but I think the nature of the allegations made are extraordinarily serious. They are distressing to read about and they are very serious," he told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.


    "I am assuming the US administration will want to provide its own answer. It's not for us to tell them how to do that."


    Asked if there should be an inquiry into the role of British troops, he said: I think anything that suggests that basic rules of war, conflict and engagement have been broken or that torture has been in any way condoned are extremely serious and need to be looked at."


    He added: "People will want to hear what the answer is to what are very, very serious allegations of a nature which I think everybody will find quite shocking."


    According to WikiLeaks, the logs included details of 15,000 previously unrecorded civilian deaths in Iraq, and showed that US troops routinely overlooked the torture and abuse of detainees by Iraqi forces.


    The Ministry of Defence said the website had been reckless and was putting the lives of British military personnel in danger.


    In a statement, the MoD said: "We condemn any unauthorised release of classified material.


    "This can put the lives of UK service personnel and those of our allies at risk and make the job of Armed Forces in all theatres of operation more difficult and more dangerous."