Monday, September 1, 2008

Diggers admit Taliban held in dog cages

SUSPECTED Taliban militants arrested by Australian special forces in Afghanistan have been detained in "dog pens" in actions that have left Australian Muslim groups outraged and prompted a protest from the Afghan ambassador in Canberra, The Australian reports.
The empty dog pens were used to hold overnight four suspected Taliban insurgents who were arrested in a raid by special forces soldiers on April 29.
The raid - in response to the fatal shooting two days earlier of Sydney-based commando Lance Corporal Jason Marks - resulted in allegations of mistreatment of Afghan prisoners.
An army inquiry last week rejected those claims, saying they were not supported by medical evidence.
But Colonel David Connery, appointed by the deputy chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley, to examine the charges, found evidence of "cultural misunderstandings" and noted "the use of the former dog pens".
Asked by The Australian to confirm that Afghan prisoners were held in the dog pens, Defence officials answered in the affirmative.

"Yes, however this holding area provided the best secure, safe and isolated short-term accommodation until the following day," the spokesman said.

And the use of the pens pales in significance compared with the atrocities committed by the Taliban before the regime was ousted in the aftermath of the US terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Then, alleged adulterers were routinely stoned to death.
Remnants of the regime are still committing abuses. Earlier this month suspected Taliban extremists abducted and executed a Japanese aid worker.

Read more on this story at The Australian.


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