U.S. army launches criminal investigation into death of Taliban detainee in South Afghanistan

08:32, October 20, 2010      

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A U.S. army soldier is in custody after a Taliban insurgent was found dead in his holding cell Sunday in Arghandab district, southern Afghanistan's Kandahar Province, said a press release issued by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Tuesday.

The detainee, who died of an apparent gunshot wound, was being held temporarily at an Afghan government facility under U.S. guard, awaiting transfer to formal custody, said the ISAF press release.

"The U.S. takes very seriously any mistreatment of detainees," Rear Admiral Greg Smith, U.S. Forces Afghanistan Director of Communication, was quoted as saying, "Our forces are trained to uphold the rights of persons in custody and any violation of those rights are fully investigated."

The detainee was captured Saturday by a partnered Afghan-ISAF force during an operation in Arghandab district, and was known to be a senior leader of the Taliban network in Arghandab, said the ISAF press release.

It said U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division has launched a criminal investigation into the circumstances of the detainee's death.

U.S. Forces Afghanistan will keep the Afghan government apprised throughout the investigation process, said the press release.

Source: Xinhua


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