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U.S., U.K. Officials Vow To Punish Abuses In Iraq


http://gdb.rferl.org/1BD2C069-1E62-4ED6-9EEE-DFD68489DF64_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/1BD2C069-1E62-4ED6-9EEE-DFD68489DF64_mw800_mh600.jpg 10 May 2004 -- The United States today pledged there would be "full accounting" for the abuse of Iraqi detainees, while Britain vowed it would "root out" British troops found guilty of such abuse.

U.S. President George W. Bush, speaking during a visit at the Pentagon today, said "the cruel and disgraceful" abuse of Iraqi detainees was an insult to the Iraqi people.

Bush said the scandal has caused substantial harm to the cause of the U.S.-led coalition.

"Those responsible for these abuses have caused harm that goes well beyond the walls of a prison. It has given some an excuse to question our cause and to cast doubt on our motives," Bush said.

There have been calls for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign over the abuse scandal, but Bush today reaffirmed his support for Rumsfeld, saying the defense secretary is doing "a superb job."

British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon today told Parliament that a total of 33 cases of Iraqi civilian deaths, injuries, or mistreatment were or are currently under investigation. He said that in two cases, decisions on whether to prosecute are pending.

Hoon pledged to "root out" all military personnel found to have acted illegally in Iraq.

(Reuters/AFP/AP/dpa)
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