SAS abuse claims in Red Cap murder inquiry

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ELITE SAS soldiers are under investigation for alleged abuses committed on Iraqi officials during a mission to trace the murderers of six Red Caps in 2003.

The six Royal Military Policeman – otherwise known as Red Caps – who included Lance Corporal Benjamin Hyde, 23, of Northallerton, were killed when a mob of Iraqi rioters besieged a police station in southern Iraq.

It has now been claimed less than a week after the killings, SAS soldiers visited the station and Iraqi policemen were beaten with rifles, punched and had hoods placed over their heads, and were forced to maintain stress positions. Up to 40 troops are understood to be under investigation for alleged brutality.

The claims come just weeks after protests were launched across the country at five Royal Marines being charged with murder following an incident in Afghanistan in 2011.

Reg Keys, whose son Lance Corporal Tom Keys, 20, was one of the Red Caps murdered, told reporters: “I have no sympathy. The Iraqi policemen legged it as soon as they saw the danger that day, abandoning the lads. So they have a damned cheek looking for compensation nine years later.”

Sandra Hyde, the mother of murdered Ben, told the Yorkshire Post she was not aware of any role played by the SAS in the investigation. She added: “People say you need closure but what does that word even mean? There will never be closure for us.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed an investigation was ongoing.