Five Royal Marines have been charged with murdering a Taliban fighter in one of the most lawless regions of Afghanistan.

The British Ministry of Defence announced the charges as military police continued to investigate the death of the "insurgent" in Helmand province last year.

Royal Military Police arrested seven Marines last Friday and two more at the weekend over what has been described as "an engagement with an insurgent", which did not involve any civilians.

The arrests followed the discovery of footage showing a group of Marines in discussion about whether to provide medical aid to an injured Afghan lying on the ground. The material had been found on a laptop during a separate investigation into pornographic material.


Four of the men have been released without charge pending further inquiries and the others have been remanded in custody where they are likely to remain until being tried at a military court in the UK.

All the arrested men were with 42 Commando Royal Marines. At the time of the death, they had been part of 3 Commando Brigade's fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan.

- Independent