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Iraqi families victims drop claims of unlawful killings by UK soldiers considered in inquiry

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LONDON — Lawyers representing Iraqi families say they concede there is insufficient evidence to back their claims that British soldiers unlawfully killed civilians in southern Iraq in 2004.

Britain's Al-Sweady Inquiry is investigating claims that up to 20 Iraqis were tortured and killed at a base in Maysan province after a battle between British troops and insurgents. It is named for one of the dead, 19-year-old Hamid al-Sweady.

The British military denies abuse and says the dead were killed in battle.

Public Interest Lawyers — which represents families of the alleged victims — conceded Thursday "there is insufficient evidence to support a finding of unlawful killing," but that "there remain numerous allegations" of violence and ill-treatment of Iraqi civilians for the inquiry to consider.

The inquiry findings will be published in November.

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