Soldier arrested at UK military academy over sex assault

LONDON, Aug 9, 2007 (AFP) – A soldier was arrested at the elite Sandhurst British military academy on suspicion of sexual assault, a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said on Thursday. “The MOD can confirm that a soldier at Sandhurst has been arrested by the police on suspicion of sexual assault,” the spokeswoman, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said.

“The alleged incident is under investigation and Thames Valley Police have the lead. The MOD is assisting where necessary, but we are not prepared to comment on the allegations or to speculate on the outcome of any investigation.”

The Sun tabloid earlier reported that the soldier in question was a Gurkha guarding the academy while a group of children were visiting on a trip jointly organised by the army and a local government council.

According to the paper, two 13-year-old girls were assaulted.

Around 200,000 Gurkhas, known for their fierceness, loyalty and razor-sharp kukhuri fighting knives, fought for Britain in World Wars I and II; some 43,000 were killed or wounded. There are around 3,500 Gurkhas serving in the British army nowadays.
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