Monday, December 12, 2005

Christ! What a mess!

Torture in Iraq Prisons:

An Iraqi government search of a detention center in Baghdad operated by Interior Ministry special commandos found 13 prisoners who had suffered abuse serious enough to require medical treatment, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Sunday night.

An Iraqi official with firsthand knowledge of the search said that at least 12 of the 13 prisoners had been subjected to "severe torture," including sessions of electric shock and episodes that left them with broken bones. "Two of them showed me their nails, and they were gone," the official said on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.

. . . U.S. troops found the first site last month when they entered an Interior Ministry building in central Baghdad to look for a Sunni Arab teenager they believed had been detained, officers said at the time. Several prisoners at that site appeared to have suffered beatings, and many were emaciated, U.S. and Iraqi officials and witnesses said.

Election irregularities:

With just four days to go until parliamentary elections, the Iraqi electoral commission said today that it had found irregularities in voter registration in the volatile northern oil city of Kirkuk. The discovery was the first instance of an election irregularity announced by the commission as the country prepared for the vote on Thursday.

The commission said experts conducting an audit of voter lists found that there had been an unexpected surge in voter registration in the area. When the experts scrutinized the voter registration forms, the commission said in a written statement, they found that many had been filled out incorrectly. Some had missing signatures and others had more than one signature. In some cases, the same name appeared on several forms.

. . . The election commission said today that Kirkuk had an average 45 percent increase in voter registration across the region, compared with an average 8.19 percent increase across Iraq. That prompted experts to look at the registration forms that had been turned in recently.

Violence:

An American soldier was killed when a vehicle struck a concealed bomb in western Baghdad during a patrol today, the American military said. The deaths brought to six the number of American soldiers killed in attacks since Friday in Iraq. Four American soldiers were killed in or near the capital on Saturday, and another died on in a suicide car bombing aimed at a group of soldiers in the Abu Ghraib neighborhood, according to the military.

The suicide attack on Friday also wounded 11 soldiers and an Iraqi civilian, the military said.

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