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Snowden claims U.K. spied on Argentina

Apr 03, 2015, 2:06 AM EDT
Falkland Islanders lead a parade on their horses.
AFP/Getty Images

Documents released by the American whistle-blower Edward Snowden claim that Britain spied for several years on the Argentine government, reports the BBC.

According to reports in the Argentine media, Britain was concerned that Argentina could launch another attempt to reclaim the Falkland Islands. The two nations fought a war over the islands in 1982.

Last month the British government announced it was upgrading its military presence on the islands. Mr Snowden says British agents were actively spying on Argentina between 2006 and 2011.

The former CIA worker, who now lives in Russia, has previously leaked sensitive information about US surveillance programmes. The BBC's South America correspondent Wyre Davies says there has not been any formal response yet from either the British or Argentine government to the allegations, which have been published by a number of Argentine news agencies.

The claims are that Britain began a large scale operation which may have involved implanting computer viruses, circulating false propaganda and collecting intelligence with the aim of diminishing or discrediting the Argentine government, our correspondent added.

The news comes around the 33rd anniversary of the start of the war, which saw more than 900 servicemen killed. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said last month that Britain will spend £280m over the next 10 years on renewing and beefing up its defences of the Falkland Islands, to taking into account "any future and possible threats" to the islands.

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