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Last Updated: Friday, 15 October, 2004, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Troops face Afghan abuse charges
US forces and prisoner in Afghanistan
Rights groups have accused US forces of abusing prisoners
Up to 28 US soldiers could face criminal charges in connection with the deaths of two prisoners at a US-run prison in Afghanistan in 2002.

The recommendation was made in a report by the US army's Criminal Investigations Division.

The soldiers are believed to be from a military police reservist unit and an active military intelligence unit.

So far only one person, a military police sergeant, has been charged in connection with the deaths.

The other 28 soldiers have not been named.

Potential offences range from conspiracy to involuntary manslaughter.

'Blunt force'

Sergeant James Boland was charged with assault and dereliction of duty in connection with the deaths.

He was a guard at the Bagram air base north of Kabul where the two men died.

A military coroner had concluded that they died due to trauma suffered after receiving "blunt-force" injuries.

The detainees had spent about a week in the detention facility when they died last December.

The first man died after developing a blood clot in his lungs. The second died a week later after developing blood clots as well as suffering a heart attack.

The report is the latest step in US military investigations into allegations that its soldiers abused prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In May, the US ordered a "top-to-bottom" review of its detention centres in Afghanistan.

Human rights groups accuse the US government of subjecting prisoners to physical abuse leading to a number of deaths and attempted suicides in custody.


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