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Australia-Afghanistan 05-09

Abuse of Afghans is probed

Australia is investigating allegations that its soldiers mistreated suspected insurgents in prison in Afghanistan, the military said today.

A senior Afghan National Army commander made the allegations during a weekend meeting with NATO-led International Security Assistance Force officers, the Australian Defense Force said in a statement.

An investigation was ordered by the head of Australia’s military, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston. The military would not give details of the allegations except to say they related to the treatment of four suspected insurgents.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported the allegations were made by four members of the Taliban who were taken into custody after an Australian soldier was killed during an April 27 battle in the restive Uruzgan province.

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"We take all of these claims very seriously and have consistently shown our willingness to be part of investigations into these matters," Maj. Gen. Michael Hindmarsh, the Australian National Commander for the Middle East, said in the statement.

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