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Probe into more Iraqi abuse photos



HEAPING ABUSE: Photos that appear to show commandos in Iraq sitting on hooded and handcuffed detenus are seen on a commercial photo-sharing Web site. The site was operated by a woman who said her husband brought the photos from Iraq after his tour of duty. — AP

CORONADO (CALIFORNIA), DEC. 4. The U.S. military has launched a criminal investigation into photographs that appear to show Navy SEALs in Iraq sitting on hooded and handcuffed detenus, and photos of what appear to be bloodied prisoners, one with a gun to his head.

Some of the photos have date stamps suggesting they were taken in May 2003, which could make them the earliest evidence of possible abuse of prisoners in Iraq.

Aftermath of raids

The far more brutal practices photographed in Abu Ghraib prison occurred months later.

An AP reporter found more than 40 of the pictures among hundreds in an album posted on a commercial photo-sharing Web site by a woman who said her husband brought them from Iraq after his tour of duty. It is unclear who took the pictures, which the Navy said it was investigating after the AP furnished copies to get comment for this story.

These and other photos found by the AP appear to show the immediate aftermath of raids on civilian homes.

One man is lying on his back with a boot on his chest.

A mug shot shows a man with an automatic weapon pointed at his head and a gloved thumb jabbed into his throat.

``These photographs raise a number of important questions regarding the treatment of prisoners of war (POWs) and detainees,'' Navy Cmdr. Jeff Bender, a spokesman for the Naval Special Warfare Command in Coronado, said in a written response to questions.

The photos were turned over to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which instructed the SEAL command to determine whether they show any serious crimes, Cmdr. Bender said yesterday.

AP

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