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Army chief is 'appalled' at claims British soldiers were involved in killing of Kenyan prostitute

The head of the Army has said he is 'appalled' by claims British soldiers were involved in the killing of a Kenyan woman whose body was found in a septic tank.

General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith said he was 'determined' to support the local authorities to 'establish the facts as quickly as possible'.

Agnes Wanjiru, 21, was found at the Lions Court Hotel in Nanyuki, close to the British Army Training Unit Kenya camp, two months after she disappeared in March 2012.

A soldier accused of the murder has allegedly been named by fellow troops after he allegedly confessed to the killing.

General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith (pictured) said he was 'determined' to support the local authorities to 'establish the facts as quickly as possible'

Agnes Wanjiru, 21, was found at the Lions Court Hotel in Nanyuki (pictured), close to the British Army Training Unit Kenya camp, two months after she disappeared in March 2012

General Sir Mark wrote: 'I am sure you are all as appalled as I am at the recent allegations surrounding the murder of Agnes Wanjiru in Nanyuki, Kenya, in 2012.'

'I want you to know I am determined we support the appropriate authorities to establish the facts of the issue as quickly as possible.'

The Sunday Times said another soldier reported the brutal stabbing to senior officers at the time - but no action was taken.

It has prompted the Labour Party to call on the Government to investigate any possible 'cover-up'.

A defence source said: 'The Defence Secretary has been impatient with the pace of this, and has directed full co-operation.

'He has worked with the military police and Kenyans to ensure their investigation is not impeded.'

The naked body of Ms Wanjiru was found in a septic tank at the Lions Court Inn hotel in Nanyuki  two months after her disappearance

Nanyuki's local economy is hugely dependent on the British troops who carry out civil engineering projects and spend money in local businesses

The naked body of Ms Wanjiru - who left behind a five-month-old daughter - was found at the hotel nearly a decade ago by a maintenance worker after a foul smell.

The sex worker's family has been pushing for answers and claims British and Kenyan authorities have staged a cover-up to maintain diplomatic relations.

The UK sends six infantry battalions a year for eight-week exercises to the nearby Nanyuki army base.

 The Sunday Times claimed soldiers who took part in the drunken and debauched night of group sex with local prostitutes said they were shown Agnes' body that evening by her alleged killer, named by the paper as Soldier X.

Another soldier from the Duke of Lancaster regiment, identified as Soldier Y, said: 'He took me to the tank and lifted it up, and I looked in and I just remember seeing her in there.

'My heart sank. My mind just went blank. The only thing I could say to him was: 'I'll never forgive you for this.''

Nanyuki is heavily dependent on the income from British soldiers based at the Nyati Barracks and sex work is very common

The resurfaced allegations have prompted a new murder probe by the British Royal Military Police.

Ms Wanjiru's body lay in the tank for two months before it was discovered, by which time the British troops had long since departed Kenya.

Members of the regiment allege the name of her killer was an open secret, with five different soldiers identifying the same person to the Sunday Times.

But the British Army has never held an inquiry and none of those present on the night have been questioned by superiors.

An inquest was held in Kenya in 2019 in which a judge ruled the mother was 'murdered by British soldiers' but no subsequent action was taken by the army.