LONDON: British special forces have been training Libyan elite troops for the past six months, but are unhappy with the deal which they believe could be linked to the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, newspapers reported Saturday.
The Special Air Service (SAS) has been ordered to pass on skills to their Libyan counterparts, The Daily Telegraph said.
The Ministry of Defence does not normally comment on the special forces.
The Foreign Office told the Daily Mail newspaper: "We have got an ongoing co-operation with Libya in the field of defence."
SAS sources told The Daily Telegraph that they were unhappy with the agreement, which they believed could be linked to the controversial release of Megrahi, the only man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing.
Britain's diplomatic dealings with oil-rich Libya have been under the spotlight since August 20 when terminal cancer sufferer Megrahi convicted over the worst-ever terror attack in Britain -- was freed from a Scottish jail on compassionate grounds and returned to Libya to die.
The Daily Telegraph said a troop of four to 14 SAS men was training the Libyans in counter-terrorism techniques, including covert surveillance.
It said the training tie-up was agreed under former British prime minister Tony Blair in 2004 but current premier Gordon Brown "signed off" on the deal earlier this year.
The SAS sources were also angry at having to train soldiers from a country that provided weapons to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) paramilitaries, who targeted British troops during the so-called Troubles in Northern Ireland.
"A small SAS training team have been doing it for the last six months as part of this cosy deal with the Libyans," one SAS source told the Telegraph.
"From our perspective we cannot see it as part of anything else other than the Megrahi deal."
Another SAS soldier said: "The IRA was our greatest adversary -- now we are training their backers. There was a weary rolling of the eyes when we were told about this."
Former SAS soldier Robin Horsfall, who took part in the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980, said: "There is a long list of British soldiers who have died because of (Libyan leader Moamer) Kadhafi funding terrorists.
"The SAS is being ordered to do something it knows is morally wrong."
Earlier this week, Kadhafi's influential son Seif al-Islam said Libya would in the first instance resist British demands for compensation over attacks by the IRA, though such matters were for the court.