The US is accused of mistreating
Two Afghan prisoners were killed while in US custody at their
base at Bagram, a military coroner has concluded.
The report said "blunt force trauma" had contributed to the
The detainees had spent about a week in the detention facility
when they died last December.
However, US spokesman Colonel Roger King told BBC News Online the
pathologists' verdict was not final - a military investigation had
been launched and was due to be completed later this month.
There are hundreds of former Taleban and al-Qaeda prisoners held
at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and in various overseas facilities.
Last month, human rights groups accused the US Government of
subjecting the prisoners to physical abuse leading to a number of
deaths and attempted suicides in custody.
Washington described the allegations of torture as "ridiculous".
The US spokesman at Bagram said the two men who died there had
been under allied custody for about 10 days altogether.
The first man died on 3 December after a blood clot in his lungs,
and the second died a week later after developing blood clots as
well as suffering a heart attack.
King vehemently denied the prisoners had been mistreated by US
The homicide entry on the [military
death certificate] form is different from the legal meaning of
Colonel Roger King
US spokesman at Bagram
"They are the first detainees to have required medical treatment
at the Bagram facility," he said, and "the only casualties" so far.
Pathologists, he said, had a limited choice when filling the
military death certificate.
Specific allegations of prisoner torture were first published in
the Washington Post in December last year.
According to the paper, interrogators from the Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) had been subjecting Taleban and al-Qaeda
suspects to "stress and duress" techniques of dubious legality.
Suspects at US facilities in Afghanistan and other foreign
countries were sometimes held in uncomfortable positions for hours
and deprived of sleep, the paper alleged.
About 650 men have been at Guantanamo Bay since the detention
base was established in January 2002. Many more are held elsewhere.