Obtained by the American television network NBC, the photographs broadcast on Wednesday show three naked Iraqi prisoners clumped together on the floor during an interrogation and the use of aggressive tactics against them.

One photo shows a man sitting in a chair with his back to the camera near the prisoners on floor. NBC said the man was identified as a civilian contractor.

Another picture shows a soldier, identified as a military intelligence officer, standing over the prisoners after apparently throwing an object at them. In the photo, the object appears to be suspended just off the floor.

A third photo shows a soldier with his knee pressing down on the neck of one prisoner, while apparently questioning another, according to the NBC.

Outrage

The abuse scandal at the Iraqi prison has inflamed the world and undermined US efforts in the country before the scheduled handover of power on 30 June.

Seven US soldiers have been charged with physically and sexually abusing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

The top US military officer in Iraq, Ricardo Sanchez, is also being replaced, but the Pentagon insists the change was not triggered by the prisoner abuse case.