Brigadier General Janis Karpinski is among seven officers facing charges that soldiers under their command mistreated detainees.

The suspension follows shocking US television images of US soldiers stacking prisoners on top of each other and even applying electrodes to one at Abu Ghuraib prison near Baghdad.

CBS TV says it has dozens of pictures showing a wide range of maltreatment. Taken by US troops, many of the pictures show American troops watching in apparent approval.

The army announced last month that 17 soldiers had been suspended over the allegations of abuse of prisoners. Six of them are facing court martial.

Harsh penalty?

If found guilty, Karpinski could receive a written reprimand. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt told CBS the army was "appalled" by the behaviour of its soldiers.

But, he said, the few suspects were "not representative of the 150,000 soldiers that are over here... Don't judge your army based on the actions of a few," he urged viewers.
 
Among the more disturbing pictures were prisoners with wires attached to their genitals and others being attacked by a dog.

The military police officers have been charged by the US Army with crimes ranging from assault and maltreatment to indecent acts against prisoners.

Other charges include conspiracy, dereliction of duty, cruelty, maltreatment, assault and indecent acts with another.