British forces accused of killing four teenagers in Afghan operation
The defence secretary, Philip Hammond, has been asked to launch an urgent inquiry into claims that British forces led a counter-insurgency operation in Afghanistan during which a 12-year-old boy and three teenagers were shot dead while they were drinking tea.
Lawyers acting for the brother of two of the victims have written to Hammond describing an incident on 18 October in the village of Loi Bagh in Nad Ali, Helmand province, where British forces have been based since 2006.
According to statements given to the lawyers by other family members and witnesses, the operation involved Afghan and UK forces, but it was British soldiers – possibly special forces – who were said to have been in the lead.
"We submit that all of the victims were under the control and authority of the UK at the times of the deaths and ill-treatment," states the letter to Hammond.