British Prime Minister Tony Blair says authorities are investigating allegations that British troops abused civilians in Iraq.

Mr. Blair says he takes any such allegations very seriously. He spoke Sunday after television stations aired footage that appeared to show British soldiers beating teenage Iraqis.

The video was released by Britain's News of the World newspaper after it published photographs of the incident.

The tabloid says the footage was shot in southern Iraq in 2004.

Mr. Blair added that the overwhelming majority of British soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere behave properly and are doing a great job.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.