October 19th, 2010
02:56 PM ET

U.S. probes death of Afghan detainee

A U.S. soldier is in custody Tuesday as the United States launches an investigation into the death of a Taliban detainee who was found dead over the weekend in his holding cell in Afghanistan of an apparent gunshot wound, officials said.

The detainee was being held at an Afghan government facility in Kandahar province, according to a news release from United States Forces Afghanistan.

The man - described as a senior leader of the Taliban in Arghandab District - was captured Saturday and was being held temporarily at that facility while awaiting transfer to formal coalition custody, the military said.

"The U.S. takes very seriously any mistreatment of detainees," said Rear Admiral Greg Smith, director of communication for U.S. Forces Afghanistan. "Our forces are trained to uphold the rights of persons in custody and any violation of those rights are fully investigated."

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division has launched an investigation regarding the detainee's death, the military said.

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