Military police have been called in to investigate a racist hate crime carried out at a British Army base in Cyprus.
A black soldier found racist graffiti sprayed on his car at Dhekelia camp, currently home to troops from 1st Battalion, The Princess Of Wales’s Royal Regiment.
Photographs show a racist word sprayed on his car.
The Ministry of Defence condemned the attack and confirmed a criminal investigation is under way.
Photographs released on social media show a white car daubed with a highly offensive racist insult along with what appears to be an attack on the Black Lives Matter movement with “All Life Matter” sprayed in black paint across the vehicle.
The BBC has confirmed the car belonged to a black soldier serving with the regiment.
The incident happened on Thursday while the vehicle was parked inside the camp behind security fencing and gates.
The racist abuse sprayed on the car includes the N-word.
“We are actively supporting the criminal investigation into this repellent and wholly unacceptable incident,” said the Ministry of Defence in a statement.
“We always take the strongest action possible against those responsible for this type of unacceptable behaviour, which is contrary to all we exemplify as an open and welcoming organisation, which draws and relies on people from across the whole of society.”
The British Army has two bases in Cyprus, which allow the UK to have a permanent military presence at a strategic point in the eastern Mediterranean, the Army says.
The incident follows a recent promise by defence chiefs to show “zero tolerance” to racism in the armed forces.
In a joint letter signed in July, military chiefs also set out a commitment to improving diversity in the forces.
Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) personnel make up just over 8% of the total armed forces – with a target to increase that proportion to 10% this year.
Statistics show that personnel from BAME backgrounds are more likely to complain about bullying harassment and discrimination.
Cases of discrimination account for 25% of all the complaints made across the armed forces.
According to the ombudsman who oversees those complaints, a “disproportionate” number of those come from ethnic minorities.
Earlier this year, the UK’s most senior military officer said more must be done to tackle racial discrimination in the armed forces.
General Sir Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, called on all personnel to see the potential in every recruit and “refuse to allow intolerance”.
There had been “soul searching” about events highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement, a defence source said.