THE father of a Red Cap killed by an Iraqi mob will meet members of a board of inquiry to contest its findings that the deaths could not have been prevented.

John Miller's son, Simon, a 21-year-old corporal, was one of six military police officers killed in an ambush at Al Majar, 120 miles north of Basra, in June 2003.

Mr Miller said he felt the soldiers, including Corporal Paul Long, 24, of South Shields, South Tyneside, had been betrayed by senior officers.

Mr Miller also said the families of one of the dead soldiers had provided evidence of an agreement between the Army and Al Majar town council that soldiers should not have been there.

He said: "The board of inquiry's findings were that the deaths were not preventable and the area was benign.

"I have another meeting in London on February 24, when I intend to discredit that board of inquiry. Of course they were betrayed by the Army."

Mr Miller, a former soldier, of Washington, Wearside, was speaking days before a BBC documentary into the deaths.

Sweeney Investigates -Death of the Red Caps, to be screened on BBC2 on Thursday, says it has fresh evidence that the Army may have betrayed its men.

Mr Miller said the men were poorly armed and did not have enough medical supplies.

He said: "These lads were sent out without knowing anything about it. It was the families who handed the board a copy of the agreement because one of the families went to Al Majar and got it."

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "There is regular contact between us and the families. We cannot comment on the programme because we have not seen it."