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Germany

Army Officers Accused of Torturing Recruits

The German army has suspended 18 training officers who allegedly tortured recruits as part of a guerilla warfare training exercise. According to the news magazine Der Spiegel, the officers donned Arab dress and ambushed the recruits during an overnight march, binding their hands and feet with wire and covering their heads with hoods. The recruits were then driven back to barracks, where they were forced to kneel in the showers while they were sprayed with water and given electric shocks, the magazine reported. A civilian prosecutor said 70 to 80 conscripts were involved in the unauthorized exercise. German Defence Minister Peter Struck has threatened those army officers found responsible with severe consequences. He called such training tactics "irresponsible" and said that such abuse of authority will not be tolerated.