'Murder in Helmand': why have seven Marines been arrested?

Ministry of Defence acts after soldier claims killing of insurgent last year broke strict rules of engagement

LAST UPDATED AT 08:25 ON Fri 12 Oct 2012

SEVEN Royal Marines have been arrested on suspicion of murder following an incident in Afghanistan's Helmand province last year. According to The Guardian, an investigation into the alleged incident only began in recent weeks after a British soldier who witnessed the killing of an insurgent broke the 'code of silence' and reported his colleagues for allegedly breaking the military's strict rules of engagement.
 
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "The incident followed an engagement with an insurgent; there were no civilians involved. The investigation will now be taken forward and dealt with by the service justice system.
 
"These arrests demonstrate the Department and the Armed Forces' determination to ensure UK personnel act in accordance with their rules of engagement and our standards."
 
The MoD would give no further details, but the suspects are thought to have been part of 3 Commando Brigade, which operated in the districts of Nahr-e Saraj and Nad Ali. Nineteen service personnel died during the tour of duty.

How might British soldiers find themselves accused of murder?
 
The BBC's Caroline Wyatt says troops often have to make split-second decisions knowing that they might be prosecuted if they act outside their strict rules of engagement.

"The rules are very rarely made public, because the armed forces do not want insurgents to know more than they already do about the circumstances under which UK service personnel are permitted to fire on them or respond with force."

Wyatt explains that insurgencies are hard to fight because of the ease with which enemy fighters can suddenly drop their weapons and blend in with the civilian population. · 

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...who would be an infantry man in today's Army? Perhaps the bloody politicians and the Military Police should do some of the real fighting!

Do we really care , he was an insurgent ( terrorist), the legal system over there is so corrupt he would have been back shooting the good guys in days . I hope i get jury service on this one , an absolute disgrace and an affornt to all our young men who are out there trying to fight the taliban in front of them and the system behind them .

how can you be charged with murdewr for killing a terrorist who is trying to kill you this has gone on for years in britain with the british army trying to fight terrorists with one arm tied behind your back by poloticians. a soldier has seconds to make a decision unlike poloticians who take months or years to make decisions & then make the wrong ones.

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