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US Military Documents Show Iraqi Women Detained to Pressure Suspects

U.S. military documents show American forces in Iraq have detained the wives of suspected insurgents in an effort to pressure the suspects to surrender.

The documents are among the thousands released under a court order to meet a request from the American Civil Liberties Union for information under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

They discuss two instances in 2004.

In one, a secretive task force detained for two days a mother of three young children, including a nursing six-month old, to "leverage" her husband into surrendering.

In the second case, U.S. Army personnel discuss via e-mail an undisclosed number of female detainees, with one saying he believes the women had information or could lead the soldiers to their husbands.

A Pentagon spokesman said it is difficult to determine what happened from the documents, but he added the military thoroughly examines allegations of misconduct or abuse.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.