Denmark said Thursday it opened an investigation into claims
by a translator for Danish and U.S. troops in Afghanistan (news – web
sites) that he witnessed incidents of torture and killing of prisoners in
American custody two years ago.

Denmark’s military prosecutors will determine whether the claims can be
substantiated, said Cmdr. Torben Martinsen, a spokesman for the Defense
Command, the country’s top military authority.

Martinsen refused to release details about the Danish translators claims,
including the number of alleged victims. The man was not identified by name
nor was it known if he was a military man or civilian working with the 100
Danish soldiers on assignment in Afghanistan in 2002.

The allegation came days after the U.S. government ordered a snap review of
its military’s handling of prisoners in Afghanistan. The scandal over abuse
of Iraqi prisoners has drawn new attention to allegations of mistreatment
in Afghanistan, including the deaths of three prisoners in custody.

The translator worked in Kandahar, the main U.S. military base in southern
Afghanistan, where he “assisted the Americans’ questioning of prisoners,”
Danish Defense Minister Soeren Gade said.

The U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen declined to comment on the report.

In May, a Danish medic working in Iraq (news – web sites) claimed that
British troops in September 2003 had beaten two Iraqis during a field
interrogation, including one who allegedly died.

Gade said Britain’s Royal Military Police will send an investigator to
Denmark to gather information as part of a British probe. Denmark’s nearly
500 troops in southern Iraq are under British command


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