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11 american soldiers charged with abuse { July 16 2005 }

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11 American Soldiers Charged With Abuse
Saturday July 16, 2005 11:01 AM

AP Photo BAG101

Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U.S. command on Saturday announced charges against 11 U.S. soldiers for assaulting detainees but provided few details of what happened other than to say the soldiers served in the Baghdad area but are now off duty pending the investigation.

Also Saturday, a roadside bomb killed three British soldiers and wounded three others, an unusually large number of casualties for British troops, who are deployed in a relatively stable part of Iraq.

In a statement, the U.S. military said the charges against the 11 troops, who were not identified, were filed Wednesday after another soldier complained about the alleged assaults.

``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.''

The statement said the soldiers were assigned to the Army's Task Force Baghdad but gave no further details. It said the Army's Criminal Investigation Division had begun a probe to determine whether the troops will face trial by court martial.

``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 attuned to alleged mistreatment of detainees since the abuse of inmates at Abu Ghraib prison resulted in a major scandal involving America's handling of prisoners both here and in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The attack against the British, who have suffered far fewer casualties than the larger American force, occurred about 2:30 a.m. in the city of Amarah in Maysan province, 180 miles southeast of Baghdad.

Britain's force is largely based in the mostly Shiite southern Iraq, where support for the Shiite-led government in Baghdad is stronger. Last November, three British soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing in south-central Iraq, where they were reinforcing U.S. troops during the siege of the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.

In other violence Saturday, a suicide car bomber struck near a U.S. military convoy southeast of Baghdad, setting a Humvee ablaze, police Lt. Col. Hassan Salloub said. There were no reports of U.S. casualties.

U.S. and Iraqi forces have stepped up operations since May 28 against insurgents in the Baghdad area and have reported a sharp reduction in suicide car bombings in the capital.

However, a wave of suicide car bombs and explosions rocked wide areas of the capital Friday, targeting U.S. and Iraqi security forces far into the night. At least 33 people, including the suicide bombers, were killed and at least 111 people, including seven American soldiers, were wounded.

One of the suicide bombings occurred after sundown on a bridge over the Tigris River near the home of President Jalal Talabani. Four security guards were killed and nine people were wounded in that attack. Talabani was at home at the time, aides said, but the target may have been a nearby U.S. convoy.

Friday's bombings took place one day after a suicide attack on the heavily guarded Green Zone - headquarters of major U.S. and Iraqi government offices - in which one would-be bomber was captured. A suicide blast near a U.S. convoy on Wednesday killed 27 people, including 18 children and one American soldier.

``The terrorists continue to strike at the most innocent,'' U.S. Col. Joseph DiSalvo said. ``There is no place in a civilized society for these murderers.''

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