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

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.