Bassingbourn Libyan soldiers charged with Cambridge sex attacks

Bassingbourn Barracks
Image caption Libyan troops first arrived for training in Bassingbourn in June

Three Libyan soldiers have been remanded in custody after being accused of sexually assaulting three women in Cambridge.

Khaled El Azibi, 18, Ibrahim Naji El Maarfi, 20, and Mohammed Abdalsalam, 27, were charged after the women were allegedly attacked on Sunday.

All three are undergoing training at Bassingbourn Barracks, the Ministry of Defence confirmed.

Cambridge Magistrates' Court has sent the case to the crown court.

Mr El Azibi has been charged with three counts of sexual assault.

Mr El Maarfi faces two counts of sexual assault and one count of exposure.

'Assist with inquiries'

Mr Abdalsalam is charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of the use of threatening or insulting words or behaviour against a police officer.

All three are also charged with theft of a pedal cycle.

Mr El Azibi will next appear in court on 4 November. A date has yet to be set for the other two defendants.

A spokesperson for the British Army said: "We can confirm that three Libyan soldiers undergoing training at Bassingbourn Camp have been charged with offences relating to incidents in Cambridge.

"This is a matter for the civilian police and it would not be appropriate to comment any further at this stage. We have a close working relationship with the Cambridgeshire Police and will continue to assist them in any inquiries."

The UK Government announced last year it had offered to train up to 2,000 cadets to ensure Libya's transition to democracy and its security.

More than 300 armed forces personnel arrived at the barracks from Libya in June for training in basic infantry skills and junior leadership skills.

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