Kabul: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered an investigation into the death of an Afghan in detention, saying the man may have been "killed by coalition troops", his office said today.
The announcement came one day after NATO`s
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said that a man
had been "found dead in his holding cell" in the southern
province of Kandahar.
ISAF said the detainee was captured during an
operation on Saturday and died on Sunday, but refused to give
further details when contacted by AFP.
"Based on reports received from Arghandab district,
coalition troops entered the Arghandab district prison at 9.30
pm Sunday... and killed a detainee named Mullah Mohibullah,"
Karzai`s office quoted him as saying.
Arghandab is one of the most unstable areas of
Kandahar, where the nine-year Taliban-led insurgency is
concentrated, and is currently the focus of a major US-led
military operation aimed at rooting out militants.
"The Afghan president ordered security and local
entities in Kandahar to investigate the circumstances around
the incident that took place in the Arghandab district prison
and report back to the president," the statement from
Karzai`s office said.
Both ISAF and Afghan authorities in Kandahar
previously said they were investigating the circumstances of
the man`s death.
The man died just days after the Open Society
Foundation, a US think tank, said the US military was
mistreating detainees at a secret prison in Afghanistan.
The Pentagon rejected the allegation, saying it always
treated prisoners "humanely".
The US military has been under the scrutiny of rights
groups for years after revelations of abuse at prisons in Iraq
and at CIA "black sites", and in the light of controversy over
the military jail at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
ISAF said yesterday there were no secret prisons in
"The United States forces in Afghanistan are running a
detention facility in Bagram and this is the only detention
facility in the country," spokesman Brigadier General Josef
Blotz told reporters.
The US court of appeals in Washington ruled in May
that prisoners held at Bagram could not challenge their
detention in US civil courts, even though Guantanamo detainees
had that right.