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Defense Minister Rejects Torture Report

Germany's Defense Minister Peter Struck dismissed a newspaper report Thursday that alleged German troops serving as peacekeepers in Kosovo had been involved in torture, saying an investigation had turned up no evidence supporting the article. The article in the tabloid newspaper Bild reported that photos are circulating among soldier that show some of them in torture scenes. The newspaper did not say it had the photos and did not provide further details. Struck said although he thought the report baseless, he had instigated an investigation since he "could not let such an accusation against our soldiers stand" and said that after considerable research, no torture photos could be found. He accused the newspaper of careless reporting, which he said was unfair to the soldiers on the ground in Kosovo.