Under fire

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The Independent Online

The death of six "Red Cap" military policemen last June was bloodiest single loss faced by British forces in Iraq. For their families, the pain must be worsened by the knowledge that they were left desperately short of ammunition when they found themselves cornered by an armed, 400-strong mob. Yet the Army's own inquiry, published yesterday, still found that there was "no conclusive evidence" that the deaths could have been prevented. In the confusion of war, mistakes may be inevitable,but the relatives are surely entitled to ask whether an independent inquiry might have reached a more critical conclusion.

The death of six "Red Cap" military policemen last June was bloodiest single loss faced by British forces in Iraq. For their families, the pain must be worsened by the knowledge that they were left desperately short of ammunition when they found themselves cornered by an armed, 400-strong mob. Yet the Army's own inquiry, published yesterday, still found that there was "no conclusive evidence" that the deaths could have been prevented. In the confusion of war, mistakes may be inevitable,but the relatives are surely entitled to ask whether an independent inquiry might have reached a more critical conclusion.

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