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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 July 2005, 22:19 GMT 23:19 UK
US troops on Iraq abuse charges
By Adam Brookes
BBC News, Washington

Eleven American soldiers serving in Iraq have been charged with mistreating detainees while on operations in the Baghdad area, the US military has said.

The military said the charges related to reports that the soldiers had assaulted a suspected insurgent.

The soldiers are from a National Guard unit, the 184th Infantry. These are part-time soldiers based in California and on their first deployment to Iraq.

Pre-trial proceedings were under way in Baghdad, a unit officer said.

He said the abuses were allegedly carried out while the soldiers were on an operation, not in a detention facility.

He could give no further details.

However, the Los Angeles Times newspaper has reported allegations that the troops used a stun gun to administer electric shocks to the suspected insurgent.

The paper also reported that members of the unit had been investigated for allegedly extorting money from Iraqi shopkeepers in return for protecting them from insurgents.

The officer said the proceedings under way in Baghdad - known as Article 32 hearings - would decide whether or not the soldiers should face courts martial.


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