UK confirms Afghan killing of prisoner at Musa Qala base


London : The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed that a prisoner was “executed” by an Afghan soldier at a small British-control base in Helmand province.

Support TwoCircles

‘UK forces were in the vicinity when a member of the ANA (Afghan National Army) shot and killed a detainee at a patrol base in Musa Qala in March this year,’ an MoD spokesman said.

The killing, described as “executed”, was revealed in a new MoD training manual for troops deploying to Afghanistan as part of the ongoing public inquiry into the 2003 death of Basra hotel worker Baha Mousa, while in British detention.

The manual has a ‘restricted’ security classification, but according to the Guardian, it outlines how UK forces should treat detainees captured during operations following widespread evidence of prisoner abuse.

‘Allegations of detainee abuse by ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] and Isaf [the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force] troops continue,” the manual said.

Details obtained under Britain’s Freedom of Information Act, show the MoD has paid compensation to the families of at least 35 Afghan civilians killed as a result of Nato operations in Afghanistan and claims relating to the deaths of another 17 Afghans are under investigation.

With regard to the execution, the MoD said UK investigators provided “immediate assistance at the scene and passed evidence gathered to the Afghan National Army, as was appropriate, for further investigation.”

‘Working as part of Isaf, we will continue to offer support, advice and mentoring to the ANA on the proper treatment of those in their custody,” the spokesman said.

Concerns have been expressed about the quality and allegiance of some of the new recruits after an Afghan soldier murdered three British troops from at a base near Helmand’s capital, Lashkar Gah, in July.

But the MoD insisted that the “overwhelming majority of soldiers serving in the ANA are loyal, courageous and professional”.

ANA is developing well as a fighting force in Afghanistan and is becoming increasingly capable of participating in operations.

‘We will continue to work closely with the government of Afghanistan and the international community to build the capacity of the ANA and police,’ the spokesman said.