Five Royal Marines have been charged with murder following a series of arrests over the past four days.
On Thursday seven men were arrested. A further arrest was made on Friday and on Saturday, bringing the total in custody to nine. Four were then released without charge yesterday.
All five are believed to be members of 42 Commando Royal Marines, based at Bickleigh, near Plymouth. They had been on tour in Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick and had recently returned to the UK.
The alleged offences relate to an incident in Afghanistan which took place during 2011. Evidence was found during investigations by civilian police into a separate matter, involving a laptop computer.
A statement received from the MOD today says:
"The RMP [Royal Military Police] has referred the cases of the remaining five Royal Marines to the independent Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA). Following direction from the SPA these marines have now been charged with murder and they remain in custody pending court proceedings.
"It would be inappropriate to comment further on this ongoing investigation."