BAGHDAD(AP)- Eleven U.S. soldiers have been charged with vioation of military law in connection with alleged assaults on suspected insurgents captured in the Baghdad area, the U.S. command announced Saturday.
A U.S. statement said the charges, which were filed on Wednesday, followed a complaint by a soldier assigned to Task Force Baghdad that "other soldiers had allegedly assaulted some suspected terrorists".
"None of the insurgents required medical treatment for injuries related to the alleged assault," the statement added. "Only one of the suspected terrorists remains in custody of coalition forces at this time".
Names of the soldiers and their unit were not released, and the statement gave no further details of the alleged assaults.
U.S. and Iraqi soldiers have been involved in a major counterinsurgency mission in Baghdad, Operation Lightning, since May 28. The operation is credited with reducing suicide car bombings in the capital, despite a wave of attacks Friday that killed more than 30 people, including some attackers.
The operation involves sweeps through neighborhoods known as insurgent hotspots and raids of suspected rebel safe houses. About 1,700 people have been rounded up since the end of May but about 500 of them have been released, Iraqi officials said this week.
According to the U.S. statement, the Army”s Criminal Investigation Division has begun an investigation into the allegations. Under military law, the results of the investigation will determine whether prosecutors recommend that the senior command here order the soldiers to stand trial.
"All Task Force Baghdad soldiers are expected to act appropriately and to treat all persons under their control with dignity and respect. Allegations of illegal activities will always be thoroughly investigated," said Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, a Task Force Baghdad spokesman. "The unit involved has been pulled off line to complete the inquiry and retraining".
U.S. commanders have been especially sensitive to alleged mistreatment of detainees since the abuse of inmates at Abu Ghraib prison triggered a major scandal involving America”s handling of prisoners both here and in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.