COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Denmark said Thursday it opened an investigation into claims by a translator for Danish and U.S. troops in Afghanistan that he witnessed incidents of torture and killing of prisoners in American custody two years ago.
Denmark's military prosecutors will determine whether the claims can be substantiated, said Cmdr. Torben Martinsen, a spokesman for the Defense Command, the country's top military authority.
Martinsen refused to release details about the Danish translator's claims, including the number of alleged victims. The man was not identified by name nor was it known if he was a military man or civilian working with the 100 Danish soldiers on assignment in Afghanistan in 2002.
The allegation came days after the U.S. government ordered a snap review of its military's handling of prisoners in Afghanistan. The scandal over abuse of Iraqi prisoners has drawn new attention to allegations of mistreatment in Afghanistan, including the deaths of three prisoners in custody.
The translator worked in Kandahar (search), the main U.S. military base in southern Afghanistan, where he "assisted the Americans' questioning of prisoners," Danish Defense Minister Soeren Gade said.
The U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen declined to comment on the report.
In May, a Danish medic working in Iraq claimed that British troops in September 2003 had beaten two Iraqis during a field interrogation, including one who allegedly died.
Gade said Britain's Royal Military Police (search) will send an investigator to Denmark to gather information as part of a British probe. Denmark's nearly 500 troops in southern Iraq are under British command.