Afghan prisoner dies in US custody

An Afghan man detained by US troops in eastern Afghanistan has died in mysterious circumstances.

    US soldiers detain an Afghan
    during Operation Resolute

    The man, whose name was being withheld pending notification of next to kin, died on Saturday near Asadabad in the eastern province of Kunwar, said US military spokesman Colonel Rodney Davis in a statement from Bagram air base.

    Davis said the cause of the man’s death is under investigation.

    It was not clear why the man had been detained, but Davis said his detention occurred “during actions not related to Operation Unified Resolve,” in reference to a US-led military operation in neighbouring Nangarhar province.

    It was launched on 18 June and is aimed at preventing suspected fighters from crossing the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan.

    Last December two other Afghan detainees died at a heavily-guarded holding facility in Bagram, the headquarters of US-led troops in the Central Asian state.

    US-led medical teams performed autopsies on the two prisoners and found one had died of a pulmonary embolism and the second of a heart attack.

    Abuse claims

    Former prisoners at Guantanomo
    Bay say they were also abused

    Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has condemned the treatment of detainees held at US military bases in Afghanistan and accused Washington of violating international law by refusing detainees access to legal counsel.

    In December the Washington Post reported that US military or US special forces troops had beaten detainees.

    The US-based newspaper said prisoners were regularly blindfolded, thrown against walls, bound in painful positions and subjected to sleep deprivation.

    US officials insist inmates are held in humane conditions and most are allowed to meet Red Cross officials.

    Meanwhile, US military spokesman Davis said unidentified attackers fired four rockets towards a US base in the southeastern town of Shkin before US troops returned fire. There were no casualties or damage reported.

    US forces said they found two homemade bombs on a road north of Shkin.


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