Iraq asks U.N. to press U.K. on alleged POW killings UNITED NATIONS

September 8, 1997

(Reuter) - Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Sahaf has asked the United Nations to request that Britain publish details of the alleged killing of Iraqi prisoners by British troops during the 1991 Gulf war and to prosecute the perpetrators. In a letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan circulated Monday, al-Sahaf attached an Aug. 17 report by the British newspaper Sunday Times saying the British Defense Ministry was investigating allegations that troops of the Royal Highland Fusiliers shot dead seven Iraqi prisoners at a holding center in northern Saudi Arabia, near the Iraqi border. ``The murder of Iraqi prisoners constitutes a heinous crime and a grave breach of international humanitarian law, particularly the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War,'' al-Sahaf said. He asked the U.N. secretary-general to ``intervene with the government of the United Kingdom in order to urge it to publish all the details of the crime and institute the necessary legal proceedings against the perpetrators.''