London: Special Air Service, an elite British Army regiment, has launched an internal probe over the sensational claim that it was behind the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed in 1997, a media report said on Wednesday.
The SAS Chiefs want to know when the sensational claim surfaced and who in the regiment knew of it, the Daily Express reported.
Senior officers have also been ordered to find out what action was taken against the soldier who allegedly made the boast.
General Peter Wall, head of the British Army, is said to be furious as the SAS`s reputation has been tarnished.
Sources close to General Wall were quoted as saying by the paper that the controversy was "the most embarrassing and potentially damaging event in the regiment`s 70-year history".
An officer called it a "fiasco" for a regiment "supposed to operate in the shadows".
The startling allegations over Diana and Dodi`s deaths surfaced at last month`s court-martial of Sergeant Danny Nightingale, the SAS sniper convicted of illegally stashing a pistol and ammunition in his bedroom in Hereford.
The claims were contained in a letter from the mother-in-law of Sgt Nightingale`s former housemate, a fellow sniper referred to as Soldier N, which was sent to SAS headquarters in September 2011.
The letter was reportedly passed to military prosecutors prior to the start of Nightingale`s trial but has only just been brought to the attention of Scotland Yard.
Detectives are currently analysing what they describe as "new information" but have not launched a fresh inquiry into Diana and Dodi`s fatal car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.
Diana, mother of Prince William and Harry, was 36 at the time of her death, while Dodi was 42.
Operation Paget, the first police investigation into allegations that the princess and Al Fayed were murdered, had concluded, just like a French investigation in 1999, that driver Henri Paul was drunk and driving at excessive speed.
The seven-page letter by Soldier N`s mother-in-law was written when her daughter`s marriage to him was falling apart after a police raid following a confrontation between the estranged couple.
The letter was reportedly passed by the SAS to the Service Prosecuting Authority before the Nightingale trial began. The authority removed all references to the SAS before releasing the documents to the court.
The letter says that Soldier N, a sergeant, told his wife that the SAS had "arranged" Princess Diana`s death and it was "covered up".