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Worry at Wikileaks war files deepens

political and military figures were today discussing the significance of more than 90,000 leaked US military files.

The British Ministry of Defence said it was looking into the veracity of secret records published on whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The military logs give a day-by-day account of Nato forces' operations from January 2004 to December 2009 and include details about the extent of Afghan civilian casualties, a covert special forces unit targeting insurgent leaders, and concerns that Pakistani intelligence could be supporting the Taliban.

The records log 144 incidents involving Afghan civilian casualties, in which 195 non-combatants died and 174 were injured.


These include at least 21 occasions on which British troops allegedly shot or bombed Afghan civilians, leading to the deaths of at least 26 people, among them 16 children.

The man behind the release of the documents said yesterday that they could contain details of "thousands" of war crimes.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange also said he hoped the information in the files would be investigated and exposed as a deterrent to future human rights abuses.

The UK, the US and Pakistan condemned the leaks and military experts warned they could endanger the 10,000 British forces serving in Afghanistan.

The British death toll in the Afghan campaign stands at 325 after the MoD announced today that another soldier was killed in an explosion in Helmand.