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A 20-year-old Iraqi detainee died in U.S. custody from injuries apparently inflicted during the firefight in which he was captured two weeks ago, U.S. military officials said Monday.

According to a press release from the U.S. military headquarters in Baghdad’s International Zone, the unnamed male detainee died Sunday night at a military field hospital.

“Efforts to save the detainee’s life ended when he died of complications resulting from his wounds,” the statement read.

Under the military’s standard procedures, the remains will be transferred from the 115th Field Hospital to the man’s family after an autopsy, officials said. An investigation into the death is ongoing.

Earlier this month, a 51-year-old detainee died of an apparent seizure at Camp Bucca, the U.S. military prison in southeastern Iraq that houses about 6,000 suspects. That death occurred April 19.

According to the U.S. Central Command, all detainee deaths — whether from natural causes or suspected foul play — are investigated and an autopsy is conducted before release of the remains.

In recent weeks, published reports have put at 28 the number of confirmed or suspected homicides of detainees in U.S. control in Iraq. According to The New York Times, military investigators had recommended at least 17 soldiers be charged with criminal offenses in three of the deaths, but military commanders chose not to prosecute the soldiers with courts-martial.

Charges have been brought in other cases.

The detainee deaths and other abuses at military prisons in Iraq led Human Rights Watch to call this weekend for a special prosecutor to investigate whether Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and former CIA director George Tenet bear any responsibility.


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