The charges "include conspiracy, dereliction of duty, cruelty, maltreatment, assault and indecent acts," Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt told a news conference on Saturday.

"As a result of the criminal investigation, six military personnel have been charged with criminal offenses," he said.

Kimmitt, the US-lead occupation's deputy operations chief, added that the six US military police officers were among 17 military personnel who were suspended when the investigation was launched on 14 January.

"The coalition takes all reports of detainee abuse seriously and all allegations of mistreatment are investigated," he said.

"We are committed to treating all persons under coalition control with dignity, respect and humanity. Coalition personnel are expected to act appropriately, humanely and in a manner consistent with the Geneva Convention."