U.S. Military Probing New Prisoner Abuse Allegation

The U.S. military is investigating a new allegation of prisoner abuse in Afghanistan (search), a spokesman said Saturday.

Maj. Jon Siepmann would give no details of the allegation, which was reviewed by American officials this week.

"The allegation is characterized as detainee abuse," Siepmann said. He promised "appropriate action" based on the outcome of the investigation.

The scandal over abuse of prisoners in Iraq has drawn new attention to allegations of mistreatment in Afghanistan.

At least five people have died in custody, and the military recently opened at least two new investigations into allegations by former prisoners, including beatings and sexual abuse.

This month, Lt. Gen. David Barno, the top American commander in Afghanistan, is to announce the results of a review of the military's network of 20 secretive jails across the country.

Barno commands 20,000 mainly U.S. troops battling remnants of the Taliban (search) regime ousted in late 2001.