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Abused Boys Rescued From Baghdad Orphanage

(RFE/RL) June 20, 2007 -- The U.S. military says soldiers helped rescue 24 abused and severely malnourished boys this month from a Baghdad orphanage, where they were found in conditions of appalling squalor.

In a statement, it said Iraqi and U.S. soldiers were led to the Al-Hanan orphanage on June 10 by members of a neighborhood council and immediately took the children to hospital.

It said the boys, aged 3 to 15 years old, were found naked in a darkened room without any windows, and that many of them were tied to their beds and were too weak too stand once released.

"In a nearby locked room, the soldiers discovered a room full of food and clothing that could have been used to aid the children," it said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has vowed to investigate and punish those responsible.

Two orphanage workers have since been arrested.

(Reuters, AFP, AP)

RFE/RL Iraq Report

RFE/RL Iraq Report

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