//Fourth UK soldier held over Iraq abuse video

Fourth UK soldier held over Iraq abuse video

LONDON (Reuters) – British military police have arrested a fourth soldier over a video tape that appears to show British troops beating protesters during a demonstration in southern Iraq in 2004, the Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday.

A spokesman said a total of four soldiers had been arrested in connection with the video, which was broadcast around the world after it first appeared in a British newspaper last month.

"Four serving soldiers have now been arrested," he said. "The investigation will take some time. Significant progress is being made."

The ministry declined to give more details of the fourth arrest.

The video appears to show a group of soldiers dragging Iraqi protesters behind a wall while a demonstration is under way, beating them with batons and kicking them.

The News of the World newspaper, which released the footage, said it had been filmed from the roof of a building by another soldier who can be heard egging on his comrades and mocking the Iraqis’ pleas for mercy.

It prompted local authorities in the area around Basra where the British troops are based voted to boycott cooperation with the force.