At least four investigations into alleged abuses by Australian special forces in Afghanistan are currently under way [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Australia is investigating more than 50 alleged war crimes by the country’s special forces in Afghanistan, including the killing of civilians and prisoners, a military watchdog said on Tuesday.

An annual report by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force said 55 separate incidents were being investigated as part of a years-long probe into allegations Australian soldiers committed war crimes while serving in Afghanistan.

These relate mainly to unlawful killings of “persons who were non-combatants or were no longer combatants”, as well as “cruel treatment” of such persons, the report said.

“The inquiry is not focused on decisions made during the ‘heat of

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