June 30, 2020 / 2:17 PM / a month ago

UK minister says aware of intelligence relating to Russia paying Taliban to kill U.S. troops

FILE PHOTO - Britain's Defence Secretary Ben Wallace arrives for a weekly cabinet meeting at Downing Street in London, Britain March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s defence secretary said on Tuesday he was aware of intelligence relating to reports that Russia paid the Taliban to kill U.S. troops but declined to comment further.

Asked about the reports in the New York Times, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “On the issue of the reports which I think were in the New York Times, all I can say is: I’m aware of the intelligence.”

“But I can’t comment on intelligence matters other than to say we take lots of measures to defend and make sure our soldiers ... are kept safe when deployed,” Wallace told a parliamentary committee.

He said he would not comment on whether the intelligence was true or not but that “we just take steps”.

“It is absolutely true that countries like Russia have taken lots of malign activity against us,” Wallace said.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

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